A former Four Seasons care home nurse who subjected residents to verbal abuse has been given a suspended prison sentence.

William Coffey was sentenced to four-and-a-half months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours of unpaid work and programme requirements following a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mr Coffey pleaded guilty to ill treatment or wilful neglect of 10 pensioners at The Oaks care home in Blyth between October 2015 and October 2016.

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In making his ruling, Judge Gittins told Mr Coffey: “Your behaviour over that protracted period of time fell well short of anything that could be described as civilised or anything close to what was required by your vocation,” The Chronicle reported.

“During that period of time, you routinely and regularly treated not one, but many, 10 in fact, residents with disdain and contempt, in a disgusting and disgraceful, foul mouthed way.

“There were tirades about them to their faces so that they and other residents and staff were undoubtedly affected by your verbal abuse.”

A spokesperson for The Oaks said: “When members of the care team in the home raised concerns about nurse William Coffey’s conduct he was suspended from duty and the Home Manager notified the Northumberland Adult Safeguarding team, the police and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

“The nurse has subsequently been dismissed from the home. The NMC has imposed an interim suspension, which means he is unable to work as a nurse.

“Care home staff cooperated with the police investigation that was triggered by these concerns being raised.

“We have taken all appropriate measures to ensure the wellbeing of the people in our care. The families of residents who may have been affected have been kept informed and all were satisfied with the action that was being taken.

“We have an active whistle blowing policy that encourages staff members, residents or relatives to report any concerns they have about any aspect of care and we always notify the relevant authorities so that they may be investigated in a thorough and transparent way. We are grateful for the vigilance of the caring staff at The Oaks who raised their concerns.”

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The author Lee Peart

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