Woman says she had 'absolutely no idea' her mother was going to die (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Woman says she had 'absolutely no idea' her mother was going to die
A civilian police worker who denies killing her mother through gross negligence told a jury she had “absolutely no idea” she was going to die.
Angela Pearson, 53, is alleged to have allowed her 82-year-old bed-ridden mother to die of malnutrition and infected sores at the home they shared in Guiseley.
The West Yorkshire Police employee is said to have failed to provide adequate food, nourishment and care to Eileen Pearson and failed to summon timely medical help before she drove her dead body to hospital last May.
When police visited their home in Fairway they found the property was uninhabitable and in extreme squalor.
The rooms were piled high with discarded possessions, soiled clothes, soiled nappies, food waste, bottles of urine, human waste and rubbish.
Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court yesterday, Pearson, a prosecution team officer at West Yorkshire Police's Leeds Criminal Justice Support Unit, accepted she had a duty of care to her mother as her sole carer.
She said: “I was upholding my duty of care, I was doing everything I could for her.”
The jury has heard the pensioner had a long-held mistrust of the medical profession and that she did not want any outside help.
Pearson told the court that her mother had not left their house since her husband died in 2001 and mainly stayed in bed. She started getting bedsores at the end of 2010 but Pearson had treated them herself successfully.
“I could treat them no problem, I had every confidence in my ability,” she said. “My mum was the most precious person in my life and I had the ability to care for her and she had that faith in me.”
The few days before her death on May 11 last year her appetite lessened and she slept more, she said. The bed sores had got bigger but she thought she had “stabilised the spread” but there was no stench or discolouring.
Pearson said her mother still had the mental capacity to make decisions herself and showed no signs of dementia.
The day of her death she knew she was deteriorating but was monitoring her, she explained. She said: “I did not think she was in dire danger. I just felt I am doing the right thing but tomorrow, the Wednesday, I was going to get medical help.”
She left her to clear a path from the cluttered bedroom so she could get her out of the house the next day but when she returned 15 minutes later she had died.
“She had gone a whitey grey. I noticed she was not breathing,” she said.
Crying in the witness box, she continued: “It was as if she wanted me not to be shocked. she tried to protect me.”
She carried her to her car, put a seatbelt on her and drove her to Leeds General Infirmary. She asked hospital staff for assistance and said her mother was “cold, clammy and unresponsive” but did not tell them she was dead.
Asked why she did not inform them she was deceased, she replied: “I never thought to, I knew she had died. I was just in shock. I felt numb, I was so shocked and traumatised. I had no emotion at all.”
The defence says Pearson and her mother suffered from a syndrome called folie a deux which reduced her capacity to appreciate the risk to her mother's health or the conditions they lived in. Pearson denies manslaughter by gross negligence.
The trial continues.