Beginning in 2000, Rachel Baker, with her husband, managed Parkfields Residential Care Home, Butleigh, Somerset, England. Baker received her license in 1987 and had been initially considered "an extremely good" nurse.
Suffering from migraines, she was prescribed powerful painkilling drugs. In 2005 Rachel started abusing opiates. The fact was discovered in 2006 by Sarah Barnett, a member of her staff, who reported this to officials.
On Jan. 8, 2007, following a long string of deaths of patients over a period of a year and a half, an investigation of Parkfields was instigated. A post mortem examination was conducted on the remains of a Lucy Cox and eleven other suspicious deaths were investigated by police. It is thought that on New Year’s Day 2007 Rachel Baker had given her a "massive" overdose of the painkiller tramadol.
The bodies of three other former Parkfields residents Nellie Pickford, Marion Alder and Fred Green were exhumed and analyzed.
On New Year's Day 2007 she murdered a second resident, Lucy Cox, it was claimed.
As the bodies had been in the ground so long, there was no clear evidence of how they died.
Rachel Baker allegedly fed her addiction by "diverting" drugs prescribed for residents at the care home so that she could feed her own addiction. She either stole the drugs from residents who needed them or exaggerated or made up symptoms so that drugs the elderly people did not really need were prescribed.
In January 2009, Rachel Baker charged with murder and possession of controlled drugs. She was accused of having diverted drugs from at least eight residents. The records system at the home showed that “very significant quantities of drugs were unaccounted for". The prosecutor claimed that more than 4,000 tablets were missing along with almost 2,000 ampoules and more than 1,000 doses of oral solution.
On April 8, 2010, Baker “was found not guilty of killing Frances Hay, 85, and Lucy Cox, 97, by injecting lethal doses of painkillers at Parkfields residential care home in Butleigh, near Glastonbury. She was also cleared of attempting to murder Hay. She had admitted 10 counts of possessing class A and C drugs, and one of perverting the course of justice. The following day, however, she was convicted at Bristol Crown Court of the manslaughter of Mrs Cox but acquitted of the manslaughter of another resident, Frances Hay, 85.”
On May 21, 2010 Rachel Baker was “sentenced to nine months to run concurrently for perverting the course of justice, over the lies she wove around her drug consumption including forging records. She was also given 18 months concurrently for possession of class A drugs, and six months concurrently for possession of class B and C drugs.”
[Robert St. Estephe, Oct. 31, 2019]
Parkfields Residential Care Home, Butleigh, Somerset, England
1987 – Baker qualified in 1987 and had been initially considered "an extremely good" nurse.
2000 – She took over the management of Parkfields in 2000, running it with her husband, Leigh.
1999 – But the year before becoming manager in 2000, she had begun to suffer migraines and was given strong painkillers including diamorphine – heroin – and pethidine.
2005 – Fisher said that in about the autumn of 2005 Baker began to abuse prescribed drugs.
2006 – By the end of 2006 she was addicted or had been addicted to a variety of drugs including heroin (diamorphine), diazepam and pethidine.
Nov. 17, 2004 – Death of Marion Banbury, 91 (Her death was among those investigated by police but no charges were brought).
Jan. 6, 2006 – Death of Fred Green, 81 (investigated but no charge).
Feb. 6, 2006 – Death of James Hoare, 80 (investigated but no charge).
May 14, 2006 – Death of Doreen Sweet, 93 (investigated but no charge)
Jun. 13, 2006 – Parkfields passed an unannounced seven-hour inspection by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), which credited the home’s “comfortable and homely atmosphere”.
Jul. 19, 2006 – Death of Nellie Pickford, 89 (investigated but no charge)
Jul. 27, 2006 – Death of Marion Alder, 78 (investigated but no charge)
Nov. 22, 2006 – Death of Frances Hay, 85. Rachel Baker was convicted of her manslaughter.
Jan. 1 2007 – Death of Lucy Cox, 97. Rachel Baker was ultimately cleared of her murder and manslaughter.
Jan. 4, 2007 – Whistleblowers Sarah Barnett and Kathy Slade report concerns to the CSCI.
Jan. 8, 2007 – Post mortem on Mrs Cox. Police investigation begins.
Jan. 24, 2007 – Further inspection at the home by the CSCI finds “standards had deteriorated significantly” since the previous inspection in June 2006.
Mar. 15, 2007 – Parkfields closed after CSCI withdraws its registered status.
Jun. and July 2007 – Police exhume bodies of three former Parkfields residents, Nellie Pickford, Marion Alder, and Fred Green.
Jan. 2009 – Rachel Baker charged with murder and possession of controlled drugs.
Apr. 8, 2010 – Rachel Baker cleared of murdering Lucy Cox and Frances Hay.
Apr. 9, 2010 – Rachel Baker cleared of manslaughter of Frances Hay but convicted of manslaughter of Lucy Cox.
May 18, 2011 – Report. The review was voluntarily commissioned by the Somerset Safeguarding Adults Board, with input from NHS Somerset, the Care Quality Commission and Somerset County Council. It was independently chaired by Margaret Sheather, the former group director of Community and Adult Care at Gloucestershire County Council.
May 21, 2010 – sentenced to nine months to run concurrently for perverting the course of justice, over the lies she wove around her drug consumption including forging records. She was also given 18 months concurrently for possession of class A drugs, and six months concurrently for possession of class B and C drugs.
[“Care home deaths: timeline of the investigation; Rachel Baker was today found guilty of the manslaughter of one of the residents of the care home she managed.” The Telegraph (London), Apr. 9, 2010]
[“Parkfields care home report: Killing 'hard to stop', BBC, 18 May 2011]
[“Care home manager jailed for killing elderly resident,” The Guardian, May 21, 2010]
For more cases, see Sicko Nurses
For more cases, see Sicko Nurses
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