Great Somerford care home managing director William Davies was among four people who appeared in court today charged with neglecting residents at an old people's home in Gloucestershire so badly that they were sleeping beside their own waste.

The allegedly 'disgusting' conditions at Newsham House, Stroud road, Gloucester, included mouldy faeces found in one of the rooms, filthy toilets, and the lack of any stimulating activity for the patients, Gloucester magistrates were told.

The four defendants who faced the court today includedWilliam Davies, 60, of The Manor House, West Street, Great Somerford, who is managing director of Yorkshire-based ADL Ltd, which owns the home.

Prosecutor Andrew Walters, who handed the court a 52 page dossier of evidence, said "A number of complaints were made relating to the ill-treatment and neglect of residents at Newsham House in Gloucester.

"The complaints were lodged in relation to the in-patient care at the home, which caters for 41 adults with mental disorders, such as dementia.

"Given the level of complaint an operation was launched between Gloucester police and the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate. There was a joint inspection on July 26 2005.

"What the Crown say was found was a lack of information regarding care plans and in many cases the non-existance of care plans.

"Photographs revealed the disgusting state of toilets in residents' rooms. They were old, damaged and there was penetrative moisture. There was a general hygiene risk.

"In one case faeces with mould growing on it was found.

"There was no plan to address the patients' social needs, nor was there any stimulation or diversion therapy. There was no one-on-one activity.

"Thought was given to closing the home, but the service provider ADL Ltd gave assurances that the problem was being managed.

"William Davies is the Managing Director. Pearl Jackson is the Operations Director. Derek Youds the manager, and Heather Bolton a deputy manager.

"The Crown say that all four were in a position to act to improve the state of the home but failed to do so.

"This is a serious allegation and there is a major public interest issue. I would recommend the case be committed to the Crown Court."

Deputy manager Heather Bolton, 56, of Westland Road, Hardwicke, Gloucester, indicated not guilty pleas to 10 charges relating to the ill-treatment or neglect of eight patients.

She denied neglect of Doreen Kirk, Dorothy Bates, Anne Kathleen Meecham, David Halling, Edina Slee, Irene Cole, and Frederick Hancox, when all were suffering from mental disorder. All charges relate to April 25 2005, except the allegation relating to Mr Halling which is dated May 2 2004.

Mrs Bolton also denied two charges of ill-treatment relating to Derek Powell, on April 26 and July 26 2005 by making him get out of bed unnecessarily early, and one charge of ill-treating Anne Meecham, again by making her get up early, on July 26 2005.

Mr Davies faces 17 charges of neglect and four charges of ill treatment, between July 8 2003 and July 26 2005.

Operations director Pearl Jackson, 49, of Woolley Mill Cottage, Woolley Mill Lane, Notton, Wakefield, West Yorks, faces eight charges of neglect and two of ill-treatment, between May 2 2004 and July 26 2004.

Home manager Derek Youds, 65, of Victoria Cottages, Elmore Lane West, Quedgeley, Gloucester, faces 10 charges of neglect and two of ill-treatment between July 8 2003 and July 26 2005.

Mr Davies, Mr Youds and Mrs Jackson did not indicate pleas to any of the charges.

ADL Ltd also faces 9 charges of neglect and/or ill-treatment in its own right. Its lawyer indicated no pleas to the charges.

The magistrates granted all four unconditional bail until November 27 when they will return to Gloucester Magistrates' Court for committal proceedings.

At that hearing a date will be fixed for their first hearing before a crown court judge.