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01 October 2013

Wilful neglect, Benefits fraudster, Trial date set for men accused of murder

Wirral care home Manager found guilty of wilful neglect

Belita Howell, the manager of Mother Redcap’s Nursing home in Wallasey, failed to make sure an elderly resident had a secure bed and then tried to cover it up when he fell out and broke his hip, a court heard.

Walter Witcherley, 86, who died a month after the accident, had been clinically assessed as having a “high risk” of falling but was left in a bed with only one secure side and no working brakes.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that care staff at the home had registered the problem but felt Howell, 58, didn’t take the matter seriously until their patient had been badly injured.

Andrew Ford, prosecuting, told jurors: “Everybody knows that management is hard. You are spinning lots of plates. But this was important.”

After Mr Witcherley’s fall a care assistant checked the maintenance log and found the repair had been signed off as “done” the week before but Mr Ford said the log was “doctored”. He said that Howell told maintenance man John Murphy to change the log entries.

Mr Ford said: “He (John Murphy) changed the record under some pressure from somebody senior who is in the dock.”

The jury took just 2 hours to find Howell guilty of wilful neglect of a person lacking capacity by a unanimous decision. The Judge at the trial acknowledged that while there was no evidence that the injury sustained by Mr Witcherley was the cause of or precipitated his death, his final few weeks were made considerably more difficult than the weeks preceding the injury as he was left bed bound as a result of Howell’s neglect. Sentencing will take place on 7th November and the Judge warned a custodial sentence was ‘likely to follow’.

Article Sources: Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Post

Trial date set for 3 men accused of the murder of Jason Osu

Three men will face a lengthy trial next year over the murder of 31 year old Jason Osu, a trained pilot and father of 2.

Paul Croxton, 21, Thomas White, 29 and George McGovern, 54, are all accused of the murder of Jason Osu who was gunned down outside his home in Wavertree, last year.

Croxton and McGovern are also facing other charges including conspiracy to commit criminal damage in relation to a firework attack on a house in Aughton in March and a spate of shootings in Maghull between March 13 and March 27 which damaged five properties. Croxton was also due to enter a plea on a charge of the attempted murder of Darren Alcock after shots were fired at a car in Broad Green in April but that hearing was pushed back to tie in with the murder trial.

David McLachlan, prosecuting, was granted a court order preventing the Liverpool ECHO from publishing the men’s addresses because of a fear of reprisals.

Article Source: Liverpool Echo

Taxpayers will have to bail out benefits fraudster

Mother of 7, Cleo Embley, 37, from Blackburn, was found guilty of benefits fraud at Burnley Crown Court. She illegally received more than £94,000 by claiming that her handyman boyfriend, and father of 6 of her children, Paul Harwood, did not live with her.

Gerald Jones, prosecuting, said Embley began making benefit claims in 2001. She told the Department for Work and Pensions she was living alone but investigators found Mr Harwood was living under the same roof.

Mr Jones said: “Random surveillance showed Mr Harwood taking the children to school, returning with the shopping – effectively living as man and wife. When arrested she accepted she did not tell the DWP that the father of six of her seven children was living with her.”

From February 2008 to March 2012 Embley illegally obtained £76,584.54 in income support, £13,248.88 in housing benefit and £4,230.13 in council tax benefit – a total of £94,063.55.

Had Embley told the truth she would have been entitled to £50,955 over that four-year period in Working Families’ Tax Credits.

A court order is now expected to be made to recover around £43,000 from Embley. However, the judge in the trial was astonished to learn that mother-of-seven Cleo Embley can carry on claiming £237 a week even though she fiddled the welfare system for four years.

When Embley’s barrister said she “knows she is going to have to pay the money back”, Judge Beverley Lunt replied: “But she isn’t. The taxpayer is going to have to pay it back”.

Embley, who is unemployed, burst into tears in the dock as she was jailed for 22 weeks.

Article Source: The Express

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