The National Autistic Society has welcomed jail sentences handed down to care home staff found guilty of abusing disabled patients.
“The abuse of disabled people that we’ve regrettably seen at Winterbourne View has no place in modern Britain," said NAS chief executive Mark Lever.
11 care workers admitted 38 charges of neglect or abuse of patients at a Winterbourne View home near Bristol. Six were jailed and the others were given suspended sentences.
The abuse was brought to public attention by an undercover investigation by the BBC which showed patients being physically assaulted by the people who were supposed to be caring for them.
The families of the victims intend to sue the private company that operates the care home.
"The publicity around this case and the fact that the staff members have been prosecuted is a clear signal that society is moving in the right direction and the abuse of disabled people under any circumstances will not be tolerated," Mr Lever said.
"People with autism and other disabilities can be incredibly vulnerable in settings where there isn’t a culture of respect and support as we’ve seen in the case of Winterbourne View.
"All care staff must be vigilant and act on any indications of suspected abuse immediately."
Sentencing the care workers at Bristol Crown Court, Judge Neil Ford said:
"Your victims were particularly vulnerable and have been significantly affected by your acts of abuse in the context of a regime of continuing abuse and on occasions you offended as part of a group."