Judge Jails Blackpool Nurses Catherine Hudson and Charlotte Wilmot

Catherine Hudson (pictured above) and Charlotte Wilmot worked on a stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital between February 2017 and November 2018. Earlier this year, on Thursday 5th October, a jury at Preston Crown Court unanimously found Hudson guilty of ill-treating two patients, conspiracy to ill-treat and theft. Wilmot was found guilty of conspiracy to ill-treat and encouraging the commission of an offence. The case was fully covered at the time by Lytham St. Anne’s News:

Today, Thursday 14th December, 54-year-old Hudson has been jailed for seven years and two months. 48-year-old Wilmot was sentenced to three years.

At Preston Crown Court, Judge Altham told Hudson, ‘You were in a position of trust and responsibility. You offended against vulnerable people in your care over a significant period. You were the lead offender. You sought to seek assistance from the student you were supervising. There was in each case a risk of harm. We have heard of the risk of sedatives to stroke patients. The relatives of all those patients will always be distressed at the betrayal of trust. There will be a loss of public confidence in the NHS.’

In jailing Wilmot, Judge Altham told the former nurse, ‘ Your involvement was over a more limited time and Hudson was your superior. I make the same observation to the harm caused. For ill treatment the least I can pass is 16 months on each, consecutive to each other, totalling 32 months. There are fewer thefts and no stealing from a terminally ill patient. You are not someone who is qualified to handle medications at work. For thefts your sentence will be 10 months concurrent with each other. However, when reduced for totality, the overall sentence is three years. It is too long to be suspended and the offences are so serious they can only be marked with immediate custody.’

In addition, Hudson’s partner Marek Grabienowski, a Band Seven nurse who at one stage had a post of responsibility at Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s A&E department, was sentenced to 14 months. Judge Altham said, ‘Grabianowski, for perverting the course of justice – eight months. You are to be sentenced for two thefts also – 32 weeks for each. The sentence will be reduced to a total of 14 months in totality. Your perverting the course of justice is so serious it can only be marked with immediate custody. Your duty as a citizen and a professional was to co-operate with the investigation, not to frustrate it.’

Karen Tonge, Specialist Prosecutor for CPS North’s Complex Casework Unit, said: ‘Catherine Hudson needlessly drugged patients with the full knowledge of the potentially life-threatening consequences of her actions and Wilmot encouraged her. Hudson and Wilmot showed a complete disregard for the wellbeing of the vulnerable patients, whose care should have been their top priority. The callous way they mocked and laughed about the patients was absolutely shameful. Their conduct is a complete betrayal of the trust placed in them as medical professionals.

‘I hope the victims and their families can find some comfort in knowing that those who mistreated their loved ones have been brought to justice. I would also like to thank the student nurse who came forward to raise her concerns, without whose bravery and support this prosecution may not have been possible.’

Det Ch Insp Jill Johnston, of Lancashire Police, added: ‘Today’s sentencings reflect the serious abuse of trust, both from staff towards patients and staff towards the hospital with the theft of drugs. The families of the victims expected their loved ones to be looked after and cared for in a place of safety. The reality was the opposite.

Hudson and Wilmot ill-treated patients without care or compassion, laughing when they came to harm and drugging them to keep them quiet so that they could have an easy shift. The risks associated with these callous acts were obvious – inappropriately sedating elderly stroke patients could lead to added health complications and even death.

For a loved one to enter hospital is often a difficult and worrying time for their relatives. For two nurses to behave this way is sickening. They were both fully aware of the risks, which makes their behaviour even harder to comprehend. Hudson’s offending was particularly calculated, all while portraying herself as a role model nurse. This could not be further from the truth. All those involved were removed from the hospital and will never be allowed to work in the care profession again.’

Hudson (left) and Wilmot (right) are pictured below.



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