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Inquest into Welsh care home deaths.

Inquests will be held into the deaths of patients at care homes at the heart of an alleged abuse scandal in Wales.

Wales’ first minister, Carwyn Jones, published an update on a report by Dr Margaret Flynn into one of the owners, Prana Das, which concluded that Dr Das, who has faced charges of neglect and fraud at two care homes, "should and could" have been prosecuted.

Inquests into the deaths of Stanley Bradford, Megan Downs, Edith Evans, Ronald Jones and others known to the Gwent coroner have been recommended.

The charges against Dr Das related to Brithdir Care Home, New Tredegar, Caerphilly County, and The Beeches, Blaenavon, Torfaen, but the £15m case against him collapsed after he suffered brain damage when he was attacked during a burglary at his home in 2012.

Mr Jones said he had now been contacted by Gwent Coroner David Bowen and confirmed that inquests will be held "where he does have jurisdiction and where the law requires."

The first minister said he was aware of the "very real frustration" among patients' families after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to reconsider criminal proceedings following the publication of Dr Flynn's report.

He said: "I know that the families were both surprised by the speed of the response - on the same day as the report was published in the media - and the refusal to reconsider the case.

"I know the families continue to ask why so few have been held accountable. I hope they take can take some comfort from the reply from the coroner who indicates he is pursuing inquests, as Dr Flynn recommended, where he has jurisdiction."

Operation Jasmine was launched by Gwent Police in 2005 to look into alleged abuse at six care homes in south Wales. It began after the death of an 84-year-old woman at one of the homes and involved 75 police officers during seven years.

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