A WHITEHAVEN woman whose death led to her husband and son being charged with manslaughter was “terrified” of going to hospital, a jury heard.

The comment came from 60-year-old Robert Christopher Morgan during his second police interview about the circumstances leading up to the death in early February, 2021 of his wife, 71-year-old Dorothy Morgan.

He and Mrs Morgan’s son by another man, 52-year-old David Holyoak, deny manslaughter. The prosecution says that they committed the offence “through negligence.”

The prosecution case is that the defendants’ “extreme inaction” meant that Mrs Morgan's death  became inevitable. When she was admitted to hospital on January 25, 2021, she was “severely emaciated” and suffering from septicaemia, the jury heard.

The older defendant’s second interview involved him repeatedly telling the police officer that Mrs Morgan, who died in hospital on February 4, 2021, seven days after Robert Morgan made a 999 call for an ambulance, repeatedly refused medical help.

A prosecution barrister read aloud a transcript of the answers he gave during his second police interview after he and David Holyoak were arrested.

The officer began by asking for an account of the events that led up to his 999 call, after which Mrs Morgan  was admitted to Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital.

Morgan told the officer: “It’s been a slow decline; it hasn’t been sudden. She just decided one day that she wasn’t getting out of bed. Literally that. She decided ‘No’. She’s not getting out of bed. I said: ‘What’s wrong.’ She said nothing.”

The defendant said Mrs Morgan never specified her reason for her behaviour.

“To be perfectly honest, I could not see what was wrong with her. One morning, she would just not get out of bed.” This had happened about eight months previously, he said. Before that point, said Morgan, his wife had been fine.

She was mobile and walked into town. He said he could think of nothing that might have led to her deterioration.

When he spoke to her about her health, he said, she spoke of not being very well but when a doctor was suggested she said she was all right, said Mr Morgan.

The only medication he gave her was over the counter painkillers, he told the officer. Asked whether Mrs Morgan had been mobile within the house, Morgan said she had but she had become less and less mobile.

“Over the last eight or nine weeks,” he said, “she had to be helped out of bed.”

She had done nothing and been nowhere, he said. “She would only do what she wanted to do,” continued Morgan.

But she had not been leaving the house in Calder Avenue, Whitehaven, where she and the two defendants lived, not even to collect her pension. There were discussions about possible medical treatment with Mrs Morgan “at least once a week, said Morgan.

She refused to see a doctor, he repeated.

Questioned further about her reluctance to see a doctor, Morgan told the officer: “She was terrified of ending up in the West Cumberland [Hospital] for some reason. She has an aversion to the place – I don’t know why.

"I don’t know what her issue was with the West Cumberland.”News and Star: Dorothy Morgan was taken to A&E at West Cumberland Hospital

He said Mrs Morgan had always refused to go anywhere near the place. When seeing a doctor was mentioned, she refused, saying she was “just not well today,” he said. “It was always ‘I’m just not well,’” said Morgan.

He continued: “I don’t know what brought it on.

“She was always terrified of anything to do with dementia.” He said Mrs Morgan was starting to get forgetful to not to any great extent. “She was, well, perfectly lucid,” he added.

The trial continues.