Verdict announced on Honey Rose appeal case

Ms Rose has been successful in her appeal

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is aware that AOP member Ms Honey Rose has won her appeal against a conviction of gross negligence manslaughter.

Ms Rose was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter in July 2016 in the case of Vincent Barker, who tragically died from the rare condition papilloedema.

This outcome will be a relief to our member, Ms Rose, who has fought the charges of gross negligence manslaughter. Nonetheless, the case has had devastating consequences and our sympathies go out to the Barker family for their tragic loss.

The case, a criminal one involving an optometrist on clinical matters, was the first of its kind in the UK. There are millions1 of sight tests undertaken in the UK each year and this type of case is extremely rare.

Optometrists adhere to strict standards of practice set out by the regulatory body, the General Optical Council (GOC). All practising optometrists in the UK must be registered with the GOC and undergo at least four years of extensive training before they qualify.

Ms Rose currently faces an ongoing Fitness to Practise hearing before the GOC. As a result, we are unable to provide information that relates specifically to the case.


For more information, please contact Vicky Vine, Communications Director, at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected] or telephone 020 7549 2046.

Notes to Editors

Association of Optometrists

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading representative membership organisation for optometrists and other optical professionals in the UK. We support our community of more than 16,500 members to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. Find more information at


Papilloedema is a rare condition in which increased pressure in or around the brain causes the part of the optic nerve inside the eye, known as the optic disc, to swell. It can develop over a period of hours to weeks.       

Optometrists and eye health

Optometrists are eye health professionals and the services they provide are far wider than a simple test to determine whether glasses or contact lenses are required to correct vision. A sight test is not about getting a pair of glasses – it is a vital health check for your eyes. 

As well as an eye health check, a sight test might detect signs of underlying general health conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Everyone should have a sight test every two years, or more often if your optometrist recommends it.

Visit our For patients section for more information. 

1. Optics at a Glance 2014, Optical Confederation reported 22.54 NHS and private sight tests in the UK in 2014