A learning disability residential care home worker has been jailed for 16 months after being convicted of abusing a resident.

Michael Payne was found guilty of abusing a 36-year-old resident over the course of a year at Chesterholme in Hexham, a private hospital which cares for people with learning disabilities and complex needs. Payne abused the resident physically and mentally – including holding him in a headlock and taunting him - before he was fired for gross misconduct in January 2011. He admitted charges of ill treatment of a person of limited capacity before the court.

Chesterholme is run by Darlington-based private residential services provider Castlebeck. It has 28 beds, and a 4 bedroom step-down service where people learn life skills, access the community more independently and prepare for a move to a residential service.