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Bishop’s carer found guilty of abuse

13 February 2015

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Assaulted: Bishop Satterthwaite 

Assaulted: Bishop Satterthwaite 

A RETIRED bishop suffering from dementia was slapped and forced to have cold showers by his carer, Preston Magistrates Court has heard.

The carer, Kate Rogowski, was sentenced to eight weeks on 19 January, after being found guilty of assaulting the Rt Revd John Satterthwaite, a former Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe. She was caring for him when he was a resident of The Lodge care home, in the Buckshaw Retirement Village complex.

Bishop Satterthwaite died in Chorley Hospital in May last year, aged 88, a month after the incident came to light. It is understood that a member of staff raised the alarm, the Lancashire Evening Post reported this week. His death was not related to the assault.

Magistrates said that Ms Rogowski had "acted in direct contravention of his care-plan, causing him unnecessary humiliation and degradation by cold-showering him and slapping his bottom," and that she had shown no remorse.

Bishop Satterthwaite became the first Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe in 1980, and held the post for 23 years. He had previously been general secretary of the Church of England's Council on Foreign Relations.

The Church Times obituary referred to him taking "endless trouble to maintain relations with foreign clergy" (Gazette, 7 June 2014).

A joint statement from the dioceses of Blackburn and Carlisle said: "We are really shocked to discover this sad end to the very distinguished life of Bishop John.

"Bishop John was much loved by the very many people who knew him. All people deserve respect, but especially the most vulnerable in our society.

"We pray for all those who work for older people."

A spokesman for HICA, which manages The Lodge, said that it was "gravely saddened", and that it had a "zero-tolerance approach" to any form of abuse. "Our only objective is to provide safe, caring, responsive, effective, and well-led care services, and we are proud to be working with both safeguarding departments and the police across all areas of our operation to ensure that poor practice such as this is stamped out in the care sector."

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