Trial date fixed for hospital workers charged in alleged unlawful sedation of patients

A trial date has been fixed for next year for four healthcare workers charged in connection with a probe into alleged unlawful sedation of patients.

Police launched an investigation after concerns were raised to Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in November 2018.

On Wednesday, Catherine Hudson, 52, Charlotte Wilmot, 47, Victoria Holehouse, 31, and Marek Grabianowski, 45, all appeared at Preston Crown Court where they entered not guilty pleas to the charges they each face.

A fifth defendant, Matthew Pover, 39, also attended but was not arraigned and will enter his pleas later this summer.

Hudson, of Coriander Close, Blackpool, faces 17 counts including allegations she ill-treated, or conspired to ill-treat, a total of five patients by administering unprescribed sedatives.

She also is accused of theft and conspiracy to steal drugs from Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Wilmot, of Bowland Crescent, Blackpool, faces four counts of conspiring to steal drugs, one count of conspiring with Hudson to ill-treat a patient and a further count of encouraging Hudson to unlawfully sedate another patient.

Holehouse, of Riverside Drive, Hambleton, Lancashire, denies two counts of conspiracy to steal drugs from the hospital.

Grabianowski, of Montepelier Avenue, Bispham, denies three counts of conspiracy to steal drugs from the hospital.

Both Grabianowski and Hudson also pleaded not guilty to intending to pervert the course of justice by disposing of evidence.

All the alleged offences are said to have taken place on various dates between November 2013 and November 2018.

The defendants were bailed ahead of their trial on July 31 next year which is expected to last eight weeks. A pre-trial review will take place on June 5.

Pover, of Bearwood Road, Smethwick, West Midlands, will enter his pleas on August 8 to charges of conspiracy to steal, theft, and supplying and offering a Class C drug.

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