Court is told Huxley mum was left to die

Published date: 04 December 2013 |
Published by: Natalie Barnett 
Read more articles by Natalie Barnett  Email reporter


A MAN has denied leaving his elderly mother alone to die in agony.

Colin Lennen, 59, returned home to find his mother Gladys, who suffered from dementia, dead after she suffered a fractured femur, Chester Crown Court heard yesterday.

The 77-year-old was lying on a sofa in the annexe of the home in Huxley, near Tattenhall, Chester, next to blankets soiled with faeces. The carpet was also soiled with faeces and the windows of the room were covered with black bin bags at the time of her death in January, 2010.

John McDermott, prosecuting, told the jury that Lennen’s claim he had checked on his mother 12 hours before her death and his statement she had told him she was not in pain, was a lie, and how, at the time of her death, Mrs Lennen’s leg had been completely twisted, causing her ‘catastrophic’ pain.

Medical experts due to give evidence are expected to say that Mrs Lennen had suffered her leg injury at least 12 hours before her death.

Lennen, who now lives in Bedfordshire, denies manslaughter.

In an emotional state after his mother’s death he admitted to police he had found it difficult to care for his mother, whom he had moved into the family home from Cumbria after her health began to deteriorate and she was found wandering the streets.

Lennen said he checked on his mother at 6.30am on the day of her death and said she seemed ‘normal but quiet’. He and his wife Janice left their home at The Beeches, Huxley, just after 1.30pm for a trip to Chester.

Lennen told police his son Andrew, who was at home that day, said he had checked on his grandmother who appeared to be sleeping on the sofa in her usual way.

But Mr McDermott told the jury of five women and seven men: “We can’t tell you what happened to cause this injury, but this was a catastrophic injury that would have been agony and anybody who was caring for her would have been immediately aware that she was in a bad way.

“Colin Lennen spoke to his mother at 6.30am and he said she said she was not in any pain – that must have been a lie.

“Gladys Lennen spent at least 12 hours in serious pain/discomfort before she died.

This is a terrible, uncaring and neglectful episode in Colin Lennen’s life, one which caused his mother’s death. It may be that months of looking after her (Gladys) took her toll.

“Colin Lennen and his wife did nothing to help her. Colin Lennen and his wife, knowing how injured she was, left her to die in terrible pain.

Gladys Lennen may have had dementia but you don’t have to be a public speaker to let someone know you have a shattered femur. She had not lost the power of basic communication. She had seen doctors weeks prior to her death and they say she could communicate fairly well.”


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