Blackpool hospital staff plead not guilty in sedation probe


Four healthcare staff have pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with a probe into the alleged unlawful sedation of patients at a hospital.

The defendants are accused of offences including ill-treatment of patients and theft between 2013 and 2018.

It comes after concerns were raised over the welfare of some patients on the stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in November 2018.

A trial date has been set for next year at Preston Crown Court.

Catherine Hudson, 52, 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, conspiracy to steal drugs from the hospital and intending to pervert the course of justice by disposing of evidence.

Charlotte Wilmot, 47, 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 Ms Hudson to unlawfully sedate another patient.

Victoria Holehouse, 31, of Riverside Drive, Hambleton, Lancashire, denies two counts of conspiracy to steal drugs from the hospital.

Marek Grabianowski, 45, of Montepelier Avenue, Bispham, denies three counts of conspiracy to steal drugs from the hospital and intending to pervert the course of justice by disposing of evidence.

The defendants were bailed ahead of their trial on 31 July, 2023, which is expected to last eight weeks.

A fifth defendant, Matthew Pover, 39, of Bearwood Road, Smethwick, West Midlands, will enter his pleas on 8 August to charges of conspiracy to steal, theft, and supplying and offering a Class C drug.

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Olivia Wilson
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