WPC cleared of ill-treating her mother

Karen Woodward arriving at Liverpool Crown Court
Karen Woodward arriving at Liverpool Crown Court
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A WOMAN police constable accused of force feeding her elderly stroke-victim mum left a courtroom in tears after being cleared.

On the second day of Karen Woodward’s trial at Liverpool Crown Court today (Wed) the women’s GP gave evidence of the “impeccable” care she had given her now deceased mother.

It is a very tragic case, she had just been trying to do the best for her mother

Sgt Mike Peake

After the judge, Recorder Roger Farley, QC, in the absence of the jury, then indicated that if she was convicted he would give her an absolute discharge the prosecution adjourned to consider their case.

Henry Riding, prosecuting, returned to say, “In the light of the court’s observations following the evidence of the last witness I have taken further instructions and consequently offer no further evidence.”

Woodward, 28, of Gerrards Close, Aspull, had denied four charges of of ill treating a person lacking capacity. On the judge’s directions the jury of six men and six women then formally returned not guilty verdicts and she was discharged from the dock.

Miss Woodward, whose mother died seven weeks after being taken to a residential home following the allegations of care workers, declined to comment after the case.

But Sgt Mike Peake, from Greater Manchester Police Federation, who had been in court, said, “It is a very tragic case, she had just been trying to do the best for her mother.”

He said that Miss Woodward feels “there are no winners or losers in this case other than her mother losing out having being removed from her personal care.

“She had wanted to spend her last days with Karen and unfortunately that was not allowed. Karen is now grateful of the chance to be able to grieve for the loss of her mum.”

Care workers had alleged that Miss Woodward, whose job involves processing prisoners at Wigan police station, had force fed her 83-year-old mum Julia Woodward food and liquids.

It was also alleged that on one occasion in March last year the pensioner moved her leg causing potential danger while a hoist was being used. It was claimed that her daughter reacted “by shouting at her directly in her face and kicked out on her ankle.”

It was after alleged force-feeding incidents in July that a care worker told a boss she found it too upsetting to go the Woodward’s home again and the police became involved.

Today GP John Morgan told the jury that the level of care shown by Miss Woodward was “impeccable compared to other families, in terms of hygiene in particular.”

He also said he did not have a patient in the practice who provided such a good standard of care and other formal visitors, such as district nurses, had not expressed any concerns.

Discharging Miss Woodward from the dock the judge told Miss Woodward: “I know it has been a stressful time for you but you can leave with Dr Morgan’s evidence ring in your ears.”

He said that the doctor had described her as a “dedicated carer for an extremely difficult patient in that she had multiple needs.”