Care Home Owners Arrested Over Five Deaths

A couple have been arrested on suspicion of murdering five elderly residents at a care home. Police investigating the death of 97-year-old Lucy Cox at Parkfields Residential Home in Butleigh, Somerset, have arrested registered nurse Rachel Baker, 45, and her husband Leigh, 48.

{mosimage}Officers suspect that some residents at the home may have been poisoned. A police spokesman said the Bakers, from Glastonbury, attended Yeovil police station this morning where they remain in custody.

“Both have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of four women and one man, theft and unlawful possession of controlled prescribed drugs and attempting to pervert the course of justice,” he said.

“Both arrests relate to ongoing inquiries into deaths at the former Parkfields Residential Care Home in Butleigh.”

Detectives have already exhumed the remains of three other former residents in order to carry out toxicology tests.

Mrs Baker was arrested on suspicion of administering a noxious substance on January 5 – four days after the death of Mrs Cox. Her husband, a chef, was arrested two days later on suspicion of being concerned with the same offence and was also questioned by officers.They were released on bail.

The care home was closed down by a court order from the The Commission for Social Care Inspectorate on March 16.

The inspectorate said it had experienced a “total lack of co-operation” by staff following inspections at the home.

The decision to exhume three bodies, starting with 89-year-old Nellie Pickford’s remains in June, was not one taken lightly by Avon and Somerset police who wanted their action to be “proportionate”.

Grandmother-of-four Marion Alder, 79, was exhumed a week later from a different graveyard, followed by the remains of Fred Green, 81, on July 11.

Three other residents, whose deaths were being treated as suspicious by officers, had already been cremated.