Huxley manslaughter accused said he did not know mother had broken leg

Published date: 10 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A DESPERATE son said he pleaded for medical intervention just before his mother’s death, a jury heard.

Colin Lennen, 59, denies manslaughter, and claims he was unaware his 77-year old mother had suffered a fractured femur which prosecutors say would have caused the pensioner to be in agony.

Lennen, formerly of Huxley, near Chester, returned home to find his mother Gladys dead on the sofa on January 19, 2009.

In police statements read out at a Chester Crown Court trial yesterday, Lennen said he had been desperately seeking support to aid his mother who was suffering with dementia and whose health was deteriorating rapidly.

In recorded police interviews played to the court, a sobbing Lennen said: “If I knew my mother had suffered a broken leg I would have taken her to hospital for help. There have been times when I have asked myself over and over if I could have done more, and the answer is ‘no’.”

Pathologists told the trial how examinations concluded Mrs Lennen suffered a fractured thigh bone for at least 12 hours before she died.

Lennen claims he checked on his mother at 6.30am on the morning of her death and she had seemed “quiet” but had not complained or showed signs of being in pain. Lennen left the house with his wife Janice for a business meeting in Chester, and when he returned home just after 6.30pm, discovered his mother’s body and called for paramedics before carrying out CPR on her.

Lennen told how in the months before her death his mother had increasingly began to complain that her leg was “lame”, and how she had been prone to falling and bumping into things because of her health deterioration as her dementia took a firmer hold.

In police statements and interviews read to the court, Lennen told how there had been difficulties in registering his mother with a GP, after she came to live with the family.

Lennen visited a Dr Watson, from Rope Green Medical Centre in Crewe, on a number of occasions and discussed his increasing concerns for his mother’s health.

He took his mother to the see the doctor for treatment after developing an abscess on her ankle for which she was prescribed antibiotics. Lennen said his mother was reluctant to see doctors.

Lennen had moved his mother from Cumbria into the family home in Huxley after her health declined and neighbours reported seeing the pensioner wandering in the area in her nightwear.

However, after Mrs Lennen moved to live with the family, she became doubly incontinent, was losing weight and beginning to show signs of aggression, and would break crockery and throw food.

On December 18, 2009, weeks before Mrs Lennen’s death, her son took her to see a doctor, who reported seeing no other injury to her leg other than her abscess.

Interviewed by police the day after his mother’s death, Lennen said his mother was strong willed, had been tearing up clothes breaking dvds and throwing items. He said he was struggling to look after her.

In the time leading up to her death, the family would find Mrs Lennen on the floor after wetting herself or after falling, although Lennen said he had only been there in the immediate aftermath of his mother falling from the sofa on one occasion.

In a statement he said of his mother’s leg injury: “To this day I am trying to rationalise how she came about this injury. I could not live with myself If I had known my mother was in pain.”

The court heard how Lennen’s grandmother’s dying wish to him was for him not to put his mother in a home.

“I made a promise and I kept to that promise.” he saId

Janice Lennen, Colin Lennen’s wife, had also been due to stand trial but prosecutors discontinued the case against her for medical reasons.


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