Suspended sentence for Optometrist who failed to spot a fatal brain condition

The incident occurred at a Boots branch in Ipswich in 2012

An optometrist who failed to spot a fatal brain condition during a child's eye test has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Honey Rose, 35, failed to notice that Vincent Barker had swollen optic discs when she examined him during a routine eye test at a Boots branch in Ipswich. The eight-year-old died around five months later in July 2012.

His mother, Joanne Barker, said the family had struggled to accept Vincent's death and the impact on his siblings had been "immeasurable".

"The knowledge our loss should have been prevented and Vinnie should have been saved is intolerable to live with," she said in a statement.

Rose, of East Ham, east London, was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter at Ipswich Crown Court.

The trial lasted 10 days and the court heard that "any competent optometrist" would have spotted the fatal condition. 

Ian Stern QC, defending Rose, said: "For whatever reason, she did not look to the back of the eye. She had no foresee-ability as to the consequences." 

Jurors took roughly two hours to find Rose guilty last month. 

Rose, who has not worked since March 2013, was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and given a 24-month supervision order.

Ben Fletcher, managing director of Boots Opticians, said: "We reiterate our deepest condolences to Vincent Barker's family".

"Our thoughts throughout this difficult period have remained with the family following these tragic events."