Thomas Rawnsley died two years ago today and still no answers.


On the 4th February 2015 Thomas Rawnsley’s life support unit was switched off.

He died of Hypoxia- no oxygen to brain, and a heart attack.

It is well known that antipsychotics cause heart attacks yet Thomas mother was forced to crowd fund to pay for a  toxicology report .

Thomas was just 20, Downs and autistic but physically fit.

It is 4 years since Thomas was removed from the love of his sisters and mother to Norcott House to his ‘independent’ life in his own bungalow in his ‘local community’ with the 24/7 support of strangers .


But Norcott House carers blew the whistle, after a particularly horrific night shift, when a worker who had targeted and abused Thomas for six months, kicking him into his bedroom and bending his fingers back with the words, ‘ Let’s see how many fingers I can break this time ‘, as Thomas was double jointed he had never succeeded.

Thomas was 4 ft 10 inches tall, his carer a large, tall man of 53 with many years of experience of working in residential care.

It is 3 years since Thomas, deeply traumatised by this abuse, was removed to a mental hospital because staff at Norcott House found him now bec difficult to manage.

It is 2 and a half years since Thomas,  now 20, was removed against his parent’s wishes 50 miles away to Sheffield by the Court of Protection under the Mental Capacity Act  to resume his ‘independent’  now termed ‘community living’ in Kingdom House owned by Lifeways/ Cambian Group .

Shortly after Thomas’ arrival at Kingdom House, his mother made the speech below at a meeting of parents, whose children were being detained under Mental Health Act section in treatment units, despite the fact, that Thomas was not being detained under MHA in an ATU, but in ‘community living’, where these parents, at best, were promised their children would be moved to from their ATUs.

The Charity organising the meeting is funded by NHS England, whose head was an executive in US Universal Health Services, which now owns Cambian for 7 years prior to taking up his position.

Paula Rawnsley tells the group how Thomas phoned her every night sobbing because he wanted to come home.

5 months later Thomas was dead.

Thomas’ parents had complained to everyone, including the Care Quality Commission in the months before his death and just two weeks before he died had told meetings of managers and lawyers they were killing their son.

But the Local Authority had done nothing, except to obtain a gagging order from the Court of Protection  preventing his parents speaking to anyone.

Here is a video his Mum took of Thomas weeks before he died

And here is an injury inflicted weeks before Thomas death, which an expert said was a skin complaint but a carer admitted was a carpet burn.


Here are public comments of Lifeways’ workers, on what it is like to work in’ community living’ where Thomas died.

Lifeways were bought by the Cambian Group just before Thomas died.

The Cambian Group was sold to US Universal Health Services last September.

Multi million pound profits are being made from institutions similar to those where Thomas died.

On average they are paid over £4,000 a week and often far more, particularly for those assessed as difficult to care for like Thomas. And  a large pharma bill can be added.

This ‘community living’ is now the only Adult Support for the autistic ,learning disabled, vulnerable.

Who are deemed ‘incapable’ and forced into it in secret for life by the Court of Protection under the MCA.

And this is  now nearly 10 years, since abuse was first reported but ignored in Winterbourne View.

Here is Thomas as he was living with his family in the real community.



  1. I cannot watch that video of Thomas anymore because it reduces me to tears It makes me so angry that people can actually inflict such awful torture to a young man with disabilities. Thomas could not fight back. What utter cowards.


    1. None of us can fight back.

      How can we.

      All our rights have been removed, or never existed.

      And even if we had any, we have no effective law.

      We are, as Thomas was, at the mercy of a ruthless state.

      Harvesting more and more of us, to use as commodities for private venture capital, the latest push mental health , Alzheimer’s, and now the old.

      I was shocked that no where in the internet, with supposedly 6000 campaigners on the IAM THOMAS FACEBOOK and the horror of what happened to him, not a single post marked this 2 year anniversary. Or asked what was happening.

      All are silent. All are cowed.

      So what hope is there for, the hundreds of thousands, ever more, with the latest huge media push to search for the lonely, the Alzheimer’s, the old and mental, to harvest and encage, placed at the mercy of a ruthless system of commercially aware, profit making, with no accountability ?

      It must be remembered, this was all done to Thomas on our watch, with our money and has happened to many, it is not an aberration, how could it be ?

      The system is prescribed – diagnose, drug, contain for life , family cut out, if they raise a concern, if not already on allegations of abuse and conflict of interests, ‘care’ is zero hour, itinerant , oppressed workers, who cannot whistle blow.

      There is, and cannot be, any individual opinion or voice, so no one could have, or can now stand up for the many Thomases.


  2. It is, as you say horrific per se, and horrific, that there was/is little media coverage of it, and now all is silent.

    Thomas’ treatment has already been described in the media as ‘negligent’,but I feel this has the effect of downplaying what actually happened to him.

    Neglience is ‘failure to take proper care’. It is an omission, rather than an action.

    When consistently actions were taken in Thomas’ care – removal, abusive care worker, enforced over- medication, dragging around on floor to such an extent painful injury inflicted, his unhappiness in his environment and complaints of abuse ignored, these are deliberately continuing actions, continued despite his distress, this is abuse, by any definition, and not merely a lack of ‘proper care’.

    Thank you for your comment and your reblog, which I very much appreciate.

    Best Wishes, Finola


  3. I totally agree. As we saw at LB’s inquest, a verdict of “by neglect” seems to be as far as the judiciary will go when it comes to learning disability deaths. For me, “neglect” and “negligence” sounds far too passive. Neglect is awful but i believe, they could go even further. I suspect this won’t change until the first case of corporate manslaughter.


    1. It would appear the state’s chosen care providers are treated differently by all branches of the state, who appear now to act in a cabal, there is no separation of powers, and the executive rules.

      Clearly, if all this and far far less had happened in parental care, there would have been a prosecution for manslaughter, or at least GBH.

      Only last month a NHS trust was prosecuted for manslaughter see link for the omission of not admitting someone who then committed suicide .

      This is the second only corporate manslaughter case the first brought last year again against an NHS but collapsed on no case to answer ruling by judge.

      This prosecution I feel political, to raise the profile of awareness of suicide risks ,and increase the admissions and justification to private hospitals which are now made solely responsible for new mental beds.

      As might have been the first last year, particularly, as there was no case to answer. The government appear to be attacking NHS to privatise.

      There has to be objectivity and democracy within the system, instead of executive control with their own agenda which at the moment, appears the need to privatise, make profit, self preserve and PR.

      Thank you for your comment it is very much appreciated.

      Best wishes, Finola


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