A WEST Cumbrian man who is on trial jointly accused of the manslaughter of his late wife 'through negligence' has started giving his evidence at Carlisle Crown Court.

Security worker Robert Morgan, 61, was charged following the death of his 71-year-old wife Dorothy in February 2021.

Her son by a different man, David Holyoak, 52, also denies manslaughter. The prosecution case is that their failure to help Mrs Morgan get the medical help she needed amounted to “gross negligence.”

They have said they were respecting Mrs Morgan's wishes to not have medical help when she became unwell.

Following a 999 call from her husband, Mrs Morgan was admitted to hospital on January 25, 2021, in a state of extreme emaciation, and with severe bedsores and sepsis.

She died several days later.

Giving his evidence, Robert Morgan told the jury he met Dorothy in a pub in Whitehaven in 1997 and their relationship had developed “very quickly.” After three weeks they were living together at her Calder Avenue home in Whitehaven.

Only “very rarely” did they have bad times, he said.

The defendant said he and Dorothy had similar views and a shared love of reading. There were more than 1,000 books in the house. He said that his wife had an interest in local politics and he had liked painting figurines until his eyesight worsened.

Morgan described his late wife as “strong willed.”

“When she made her mind up about something she stuck to it,” he said. “You couldn’t dissuade her to change her mind."

Mr English asked: “How did you get on with her?”

Morgan answered: “Fine – there were never any major incidents. No problems. We didn’t seem to have any arguments over anything.

“There was never any real issue; we got on very well. We were very in tune with each other.”

He said his wife had worked at the Kangol factory in Frizington but then, after that closed, he got her a job in security. She was 65 when she retired. She seemed “quite well” at the time and did not have any problems, Morgan told the court.

Asked about their discussions of her health, Morgan said: “She made it known from day one that if ever she was ill she did not want any intervention by doctors or hospitals.

“She would do it her way. When I moved in, she made that clear to me that if she ever got in a position when she needed help, she would not accept it.

"She would do it in her own way.” He said his wife had a “fear of dementia.”

Morgan told the jury that she had told him that if she were to get to that condition, she would throw herself off St Bees Head.

He confirmed that in her earlier life she had undergone a hysterectomy at The West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and she also had a bowel cancer scare which led to treatment at Carlisle’s hospital.

He said: “She had a thing about West Cumberland Hospital; she didn’t want to go in there if she could avoid it." She had also stopped seeing the GP, she said.

“She didn’t want to see a doctor,” he said. Morgan said he had worked on hospital access during the covid pandemic.

Dorothy Morgan had refused to be vaccinated, he said.

Morgan also told the jury that his wife had been a heavy smoker, and after her retirement she had slowed down and her alcohol consumption had gone up.

“Cigarettes is bad enough,” he said. “But to add alcohol on top of it – it’s not a good move.”

He said his wife had briefly joined a self-help group after she retired but left after concluding that they did not know what they were talking about.

“She carried on drinking and smoking,” he said, telling the jury that she would drink pear cider, which he described as “horrible cheap stuff.”

The trial continues.