A MANAGER at a private care home where an autistic man choked to death on a sandwich has breached health and safety law, a court has found.

The former deputy manager of The Chine, Winchmore Hill, Patience Etchu-Abangma, 53, failed in her health and safety duty towards Jesse Moores, 26, after she left him with two agency care workers while she went to work a secret second job at a school in Walthamstow.

Mr Moores, who had a history of choking and was autistic, hyperactive, and suffered from Tourette's Syndrome, was found lying motionless on the floor with a piece of ham sandwich the size of a golf ball stuck in his throat on November 3 2005.

Robinia Care Group, which runs the centre, pleaded guilty to three counts of failing its health and safety duty which included failing to notify authorities of Mr Moore's death on or close to the time it happened.

Ms Etchu-Abangma said she was not on the rota for work that day but had come in because the home was short-staffed.

Mr Moores was found by agency care worker Ifeomo Ojobar, who was working under the false name of Chinelo Adepitan, a name she had stolen from her cousin. Ms Ojobar had no first aid training and was working illegally after coming to the UK from Nigeria in 2003 on a visiting visa, which had expired.

Prosecutor Peter Harrison QC said leaving the care home without a suitable member of staff present to take her place represented an omission in Etchu-Abangma's responsibilities.

Mr Moores's father, Bob Moores, said: "I'm extremely happy with the verdict. It's highly appropriate and I'm just mightily relieved.

"It will give me and my family closure.''

He thanked Enfield Council for bringing the case against Robinia, adding: “This has been an extremely difficult time, and whilst nothing can undo the events of the November 3 2005, if lessons are learned, then my son’s death will not be in vain.”

Care home manager Gideon Attram, 49, of Shepherds Bush, west London, who was on trial for the same offence, was found not guilty at Wood Green Crown Court on February 26.

The case has been adjourned until April for sentencing.

The care home has since been closed.