THE GROUP campaigning for an investigation into care home abuse in homes across Gwent spoke of their “great relief” at news an independent review would be held into the police probe into the case.

The “Justice for Jasmine” group, which represents the families of the alleged victims, said it looked forward to working with Dr Flynn to ensure improvements are made “so that the neglect and abuse we believe has taken place, and the pain and suffering this caused, will never occur again.”

The mother of the group’s chairwoman Loraine Brannan, Megan Downs, was a resident of the Brithdir Care Home in Bargoed.

Mrs Brannan told the Argus how her mother suffered a pressure sore down to the bone – a fact the family did not discover until after her death in 2004.

Mrs Brannan said: “We were determined that this is a story that had to be told. We don’t want anyone else to go through the same thing.”

Despite the seven-year police operation, charges against Newport-man Dr Prana Das and his co-accused Paul Black relating to neglect at Puretruce Health Care, and fraud charges against Das, were left on file after Das was brain-damaged in an attack.

Six care homes, in Newbridge, Bargoed, Blaenavon, Caerphilly, Abertillery and Ebbw Vale were investigated Mr Jones told the AMs a significant factor in his announcement was that it was difficult to see how the court proceedings could be re-instated.

He said he expected the review to speak with the families, councils, police and others.

Sarah Rochira, the older people’s commissioner for Wales, said the move was the “most appropriate way to ensure that the families get the information and the answers they have told me they need.”

Gwent Police said it would provide any assistance and information required.