14 June 2019

Ealing Magistrates Court
Monday 17 June, from 10am

The first hearing of the prosecution of the charity Richmond Psychosocial International Foundation (RPFI), and manager Peggy Jhugroo, who ran Lancaster Lodge, will take place on Monday 17 June at Ealing Magistrates Court. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) reached the decision to prosecute the charity and manager of the home on 1 May, following the death of Sophie Bennett.

Sophie was 19 years old when she died on 4 May 2016. She had diagnoses of Bipolar Affective Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and atypical autism. She had been cared for at Lancaster Lodge in Richmond, specialist accommodation for people with mental ill health, since April 2015. An inquest jury in February found that “neglect” contributed to her death.

The CQC brought the prosecution against RPFI over an alleged failure to provide safe care and treatment, resulting in Sophie being exposed to the significant risk of avoidable harm, under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. By law, registered providers of health and social care services must take all reasonable steps and exercise all due diligence to ensure patients receive safe care and treatment. Peggy Jhugroo, who was involved in Sophie’s care, will also be prosecuted under the Act.

This first hearing is expected to be a brief initial opening of the prosecution and will be followed by further hearings and sentencing.



For further information and to note your interest please contact Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or by email.

The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Charlotte Haworth-Hird and Rachel Harger of Bindmans LLP and Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Sam Jacobs of Doughty Street Chambers.

Sophie is survived by her parents Ben and Nicki, and her siblings Natasha, Thomas and Jack.

The prosecution of RPFI is being brought by the CQC under regulations 12 and 221 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014; and that an individual will be prosecuted in this respect pursuant to section 91 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. An individual will be prosecuted in this respect pursuant to section 91 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Background media releases:

  • 1 May 2019 - CQC to prosecute charity run care provider following death of Sophie Bennett as a coroner fines ‘doctor’ involved – INQUEST Media Release
  • 5 April 2019 - Charity Commission opens inquiry into care charity following Coroner’s report – Bindmans Media Release
  • 7 February 2019 - Jury find neglect contributed to self-inflicted death of teenager Sophie Bennett in care home – INQUEST Media Release

Richmond Psychosocial Foundation International background:

Elly Jansen OBE established a therapeutic community under a charity, ‘Richmond Fellowship’ in 1959.  Richmond Fellowship was the subject of a Charity Commission inquiry in 1988 which reported concerns as to financial conflicts of interests concerning Ms Jansen. The Commission had reported that Ms Jansen had since “severed all links” with the charity. However, it is apparent that a similar charity was since established – RPFI – with Ms Jansen acting as a ‘consultant to the board’.

The jury at the inquest heard that the manager at Lancaster Lodge at the time of Sophie’s death, Peggy Jughroo, had been trained by Elly Jansen and continued to be supervised by her. A trustee of the Board, Jonathan Manson, told the inquest that he thought Ms Jansen’s role was “ambiguous.”  Lynn Dade, a former RPFI trustee who resigned in July 2015 following “grave concerns regarding the governance and financial affairs” of RPFI described Ms Jansen as a “sleeping director.”