Date set for verdict in case of 91-year-old woman beaten to death by fellow resident at Freckleton care home

The case of an elderly woman who died after being violently attacked by a man at the nursing home where she lived is set to conclude following a three month delay.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 1:50 pm

An inquest into the death of Jessie McKinlay was paused in September after the coroner decided further evidence was required.

The 91-year-old mum of seven died on April 21 2019, two months after being thrown out of bed, punched and kicked by another resident at the Old Vicarage care home in Freckleton where she lived.

The Old Vicarage in Freckleton

She suffered a broken hip, a broken shoulder, and a slow bleed on the brain as a result of the attack by Alan Whiteside, 75, shortly after 2am on February 14. She was taken to Royal Preston Hospital and had a hip operation and a cast put on her arm, however, no CT scan was carried out, and so the brain bleed was not detected.

Mrs McKinlay was discharged from Royal Preston Hospital on March 19 and taken to the New Thursby care home in St Annes. She was taken to Blackpool Victotia Hospital on March 21, and returned to the home on April 2 to be placed on end of life care.

At a previous hearing, the court heard how Mr Whiteside, who suffered from dementia, was known to be violent, and had been placed in the care home following repeated attacks on his wife.

Despite this, he was allowed to wander around the home unaccompanied, and was reported to go into other residents' bedrooms, where he would 'drag them out of bed'.

Old Vicarage carer Samantha Davis, who itnessed the attack on Mrs McKinlay, said: "I walked from the lounge into the corridor and saw Jessie fly through the air and onto the floor. Alan came out of her bedroom and continued to kick and punch her until we got to him.

"He started hitting out at us. We got Jessie and helped her to get into the room opposite and closed the door so Alan couldn't get in. He was shouting and banging on the door trying to get in."

She told the court that the care home's manager at the time, Sharon Clayton, told staff to stop logging complaints about Mr Whiteside's behaviour, and that if they wrote anything about him in their digital reports, those reports would be deleted.

Additionally, Caroline O'Brien, a social worker from Lancashire County Council, said she had been led to believe Mr Whiteside had settled in well by Ms Clayton, and that no violent incidents had been reported to her.

Coroner Alan Wilson said: "It's clear to me that further investigation is required, and this will require us receiving evidence from the manager of the care home."

The inquest has been scheduled to resume at Blackpool town hall on December 13, and is expected to conclude the following day.

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