East Ham eye specialist guilty of boy’s manslaughter

Honey Rose

Honey Rose - Credit: Archant

An optometrist who failed to spot an eye condition in an eight-year-old boy who later died has been found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Vincent Barker, known as Vinnie, died on July 13, 2012 (Picture: Suffolk Police/PA Wire)

Vincent Barker, known as Vinnie, died on July 13, 2012 (Picture: Suffolk Police/PA Wire) - Credit: PA

Honey Rose, of Milton Avenue, East Ham, had been on trial at Ipswich Crown Court in connection with the death of Vincent Barker, known as Vinnie.

The prosecution argued that if Rose, 35, had noticed abnormalities then the death of the youngster, from Ipswich, could have been avoided.

It took jurors just three hours and 12 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict this morning.

During the trial, which began last week, Rose told the court she had not seen photographic images of Vinnie’s eyes and would have referred him to a hospital if she had.


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But Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting, alleged she failed to notice “obvious abnormalities” in both Vinnie’s eyes during a routine eye test and he died five months later.

He claimed at the time of his examination by Rose in February 2012 they would have been “obvious to any competent optometrist” who examined them.

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Vinnie died of hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, in July 2012 after falling ill at school.

Mr Rees claimed if Vinnie had been urgently referred his medical condition would have been successfully treated.

A date has not yet been set for Rose’s sentencing.

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