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Police raid disability agency over Smith death

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Police have raided the offices of Integrity Care SA and say some staff have “steadfastly refused to co-operate” with the “criminal, Coronial and financial” investigation into the death of Ann Marie Smith.

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Police today are searching the Integrity Care office at Edwardstown and a home at Huntfield Heights for electric and documentary evidence as part of enquiries into the death of Smith on April 6.

The 54-year-old Kensington Gardens woman, who had cerebral palsy, died in hospital from septic shock, multiple organ failure, severe pressure sores and malnourishment while under the responsibility of Disability Care SA, which was authorised and funded under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

At the time of her death, police said Smith had been spent most of the past year in a cane chair.

The Major Crime Investigation Branch established Task Force Giles to investigate the death, from alleged serious criminal neglect.

On August 6, a 68-year-old woman who worked for Disability Care as Smith’s sole carer was charged with manslaughter.

On August 12, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission revoked Integrity Care’s registration and issued a banning order over breaches of the NDIS Act.

Speaking outside Integrity Care’s Edwardstown site during a raid he expected to last much of the day, Detective Superintendent Des Bray said that after the arrest, police had “shifted their focus to the role of others, employed at or running Integrity Care SA who had a responsibility to deliver care”.

Bray said that helpful information had been received from 78 calls to Crime Stoppers about the case, which encompassed “criminal, Coronial and financial” enquiries.

“But sadly, we haven’t had that same level of co-operation from all employees at Integrity Care SA,” he said.

“In fact, some employees have steadfastly refused to co-operate and have done nothing whatsoever to assist the investigation to ensure that this sort of neglect can never happen to anybody again.”

However, he said the company had employees who did care, and he called on staff both past and present to “do the right thing”.

“Come forward, stand up and support people like Annie to make sure something like this can never happen again.”

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