St Helens care worker left patient to starve to death

Tracy Burrows Image copyright Lynda Roughley
Image caption Burrows did not get out of her car to check whether her patient was at home and then lied to her employer

A care worker who left a severely disabled woman to starve to death at home has been convicted of gross negligence manslaughter.

Tracy Burrows, 56, of St Helens, lied about her patient being at home, leading to cancelled care visits.

After four days without food or water, Julie Cleworth, 43, who had had a stroke, was found dead at her home in the town on 9 February 2017.

Burrows was warned at Liverpool Crown Court she was likely to be jailed.

She will be sentenced on 21 August following a pre-sentence report.

Starvation toxins

Upon release from hospital on 5 February, Ms Cleworth - described by the prosecution as "helpless as a baby" - was put in bed by ambulance crews.

Later that evening, finding the house in darkness, Burrows did not even get out of her car to check on Ms Cleworth.

But Burrows, of Sherdley Park Drive, told her employers Unite Healthcare that she had looked in every room of the house for her, the court heard.

Because Unite was told Ms Cleworth was not at the property, subsequent care visits were cancelled.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Ms Cleworth had developed ketoacidosis, a condition in which toxins build up in the blood stream as a result of starvation.

After a nine-day trial, the jury unanimously found Burrows guilty of manslaughter through gross negligence.

After the verdict, Ms Cleworth's mother Hilary Kenny said: "I've got justice for her."

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