A JURY has delivered guilty verdicts on two Whitehaven men who had denied the manslaughter through “gross negligence” of a 71-year-old woman.

After a four-week trial that examined the tragic death of Dorothy Morgan, her husband Robert Christopher Morgan, 61, and 53-year-old David Holyoak, her son by a different man, were today convicted at Carlisle Crown Court.

It took the jury of five women and seven men 23 hours and 12 minutes to reach their decisions. Neither defendant showed emotion as the jury forewoman delivered the verdicts, though supermarket worker Holyoak bowed his head and stared at the floor.

During the trial, the jury heard disturbing evidence of how Mrs Morgan, a former Kangol factory worker, was admitted to hospital on January 25, 2021, following a 999 call from her husband.

Robert Morgan, a security worker who did night shifts in Barrow, told the call-handler his wife – weighing four and a half stones – looked like somebody from a “death camp.”

She was severely emaciated, dehydrated, and had infected bed sores – the infections so well developed that Mrs Morgan’s bones were visible in the wounds.

She also had sepsis.

In the weeks before she was admitted to hospital, the court heard, she had lived on a settee in the living room of the Calder Avenue home in Whitehaven where she lived with the two defendants. Seemingly unable to move, she was covered in her own urine and faeces.

Prosecutor Iain Simkin KC told the court that by the time Mrs Morgan was taken to West Cumberland Hospital her death had become “an inevitability.”

She died several days after she was admitted. The prosecution case was that the defendants’ failure to seek medical help at an earlier stage caused Mrs Morgan’s death.

Mr Simkin told the jury: “You will be sure, through their negligence, that they killed Dorothy Morgan.”

Both men told the court that Mrs Morgan was a “strong-willed” woman, who repeatedly refused to accept their offers to get her the medical help she needed.

They also claimed that she had a deep-seated aversion to West Cumberland Hospital and would rather throw herself off a cliff than go there.

After taking the verdicts, the judge in the case, Her Honour Judge Goddard KC, said of the defendants: “They must both prepare themselves for immediate custodial sentences.

"The guidelines are clear; this is a very serious matter.”

She granted both Morgan and Holyoak bail until the day of sentence, which was set as March 25, ordering that background reports are prepared in the meantime. They must continue to live at their current address in the meantime.

The judge told them: “You have now been convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence of Dorothy Morgan. 

"You will appreciate that this is a very serious offence indeed and it’s almost inevitable that there will be immediate custodial sentences; you must both come to terms with that.”

Morgan was convicted by a unanimous jury verdict, while Holyoak was found guilty by a majority of 10 to two.

Read more: Whitehaven pensioner 'wasted away' on a settee for weeks, court heard

Read more: Dorothy Morgan manslaughter was 'one of the worst' - senior prosecutor