Carer tells of 18 months of hell as court drops neglect case
A carer has described her ’18 months of hell’ after charges she neglected a poorly pensioner were dramatically dropped.
A jury formally returned a not guilty verdict on Marion Butt after the Crown Prosecution Service announced it was offering no further evidence halfway through her trial at Manchester Crown Court.
The 52-year-old – of Silverdale Road, Chorlton – had been accused of wilfully neglecting a person who lacked capacity.
Mrs Butt had been working as Violet Tyrer’s carer for eight years, paid for by the pensioner’s family in London and seeing her three times a day at her flat in Old Trafford.
But in March 2008 she became concerned at Violet’s deteriorating condition and called a 24-hour medical support line at 9.30am.
A doctor arrived at 11am but Violet was only admitted to Manchester Royal Infirmary at 6.30pm.
In the hospital, medics found she was suffering from severe dehydration, uncontrolled diabetes as well as a number of severe pressure ulcers on her heels, hips and bottom.
Doctors who saw her thought Violet was unlikely to survive but she defied expectations and recovered enough to be moved into a nursing home.
She died aged 84 at the nursing home of an unrelated illness. But police and social services began an investigation into her care, resulting in Mrs Butt being charged.
The case centred on precisely when the pressure ulcers, also known as pressure sores, would have become apparent to her carer – with the CPS at first suggesting they would have been obvious long before she went to hospital.
But Judge Martin Rudland said: “The situation presented to Mrs Butt at 9.30am was very different to that presented to the medical staff at 6.30pm.
“Even with those lesser symptoms, she thought it was appropriate to call for medical assistance. She gave an extremely extensive appraisal of her condition, her history and medication.”
The judge added: “Who in the league table of all this has given more care to Mrs Tyrer?”
Prosecutor Charlotte Crangle replied: “It appears it is Mrs Butt.”
After the hearing Mrs Butt told the M.E.N: “It’s been 18 months of hell.
“It’s been a very traumatic time for me to be accused of doing that to someone I loved.
“I’m very saddened by the loss of Violet. She was a personal friend. She was like a mother to me and nothing will ever replace her. I dedicate my time to the care of the elderly.
“I’m pleased about the decision but at the same time I’m not happy. I feel victimised by the system. I think the sins of the system have been put onto the carer. They have attacked me vigorously and disturbed my life for 18 months.”
Mrs Butt is now considering taking legal action over her ordeal.