Care worker jailed after patient starved to death

A care worker has been jailed gross negligence manslaughter and sentenced to three years after she left a severely disabled women starve to death.

Tracey Burrows, 56, was supposed to provide a home visit to Julie Cleworth, 43, but instead she went to see her own mother after she wrongly assumed that Ms Cleworth was still in hospital following a recent admission. 

She called her boss and lied when said she could not find the patient at the property after checking in every room. 

Ms Cleworth, who was described as “helpless as a baby” was completely immobile and depended on visits from two care workers five times a day.

After Burrows lied to her bosses, Unite Healthcare Ltd cancelled Ms Cleworth’s visit and care package because they believed she was still in hospital, following Burrow’s false statement. The care package should have included food, fluids and medication. 

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Ms Cleworth was found dead four days later on February 9th 201 after having a stroke and being deprived of food or water. A post-mortem examination revealed that Ms Cleworth had developed ketoacidosis, a condition in which toxins build up in the blood stream due to starvation.

When sentencing Burrows, Judge Neil Flewitt QC said: “Your neglect of Julie Cleworth set in motion an unbroken sequence of events which led directly to her death.”

He added: “One can only imagine the terror which must have overcome Julie Cleworth as she lay helpless in bed, realising that she had been abandoned and left to starve to death.”

Burrows, who plead not guilty to the charge, was sentenced to three years in prison.

Following sentencing, Det Insp Craig Turner, of Merseyside Police, said: “Tracey was in a position of care and has abused this trust.” 

“Although this is a really awful series of events, I hope this sentencing brings some closure to Ms Cleworth’s family.”

To discuss any legal matter in further detail please call 01744 626 600.

Frodshams Solicitors 
St Helens & Wigan