Nurse and healthcare worker jailed for ten years for drugging patients for 'own amusement’ and 'easy shift'

14 December 2023, 14:32 | Updated: 14 December 2023, 14:59

Nurse Hudson (left) and healthcare worker Wilmot (right) were jailed.
Nurse Hudson (left) and healthcare worker Wilmot (right) were jailed. Picture: Lancashire Police

By Jenny Medlicott

A nurse and healthcare worker have been jailed for ten years between them after drugging patients for an “easy shift.”

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Preston Crown Court heard that the pair would target patients who were a “nuisance” or as a “cause of humour”.

Nurse Catherine Hudson, 54, illegally sedated two patients in a stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital between February 2017 and November 2018, the trial heard.

Charlotte Wilmot, 48, also conspired with Hudson to sedate a third patient.

Police were alerted to the incidents Blackpool Victoria Hospital in 2018 after a student nurse on work placement reported Hudson had suggested administering an unprescribed sleeping pill to elderly patient Aileen Scott, 76.

The nurse also reported Hudson attempting to reassure the whistleblower nurse, saying: “Well, she's got a DNAR (do not attempt resuscitation) in place so she wouldn't be opened up if she died or like if it came to any harm."

Hudson then removed a strip of the sleeping pill Zoplicone from her tunic pocket and administered the sedative, Preston Crown Court heard.

Zopiclone is a Class C controlled drug and is potentially life-threatening if given inappropriately to acutely unwell patients, Preston Crown Court heard.

Read more: British boy who vanished from Costa del Sol six years ago found alive after 'escaping rural community' in France

Read more: Search diver Peter Faulding offers to help find Gaynor Lord despite Nicola Bulley controversies

Aileen Scott was among the patients sedated.
Aileen Scott was among the patients sedated. Picture: Lancashire Police

Hudson, who was described as the “leading offender”, was sentenced to seven years and two months in prison on Thursday.

The court heard that she sedated those she considered a “nightmare”.

She was found guilty on three counts of ill-treatment and of the theft of the drug Mebverine - which is used for an end-of-life patient.

Wilmot, who was found guilty of encouraging Hudson, was sentenced to three years in prison.

Both women were also convicted of conspiracy to ill-treat a patient by administering sedatives.

Judge Robert Altham, Honorary Recorder of Preston, said: "The offences of ill-treatment were committed by these defendants whose duty was to protect and care for them.

"The patients were as vulnerable as anyone could be.

"These defendants exploited them for an easy shift, for amusement and to exercise contemptuous power over them."

He also spoke of how Hudson and Wilmo’s behaviour would lead to a “loss of public conficence in the NHS”.

Aileen Scott’s son, Brian, commended the student nurse, who remained unnamed, for her actions which “most likely saved my mum’s life”.

Ms Scott had been rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital after suffering a stroke while away with her son.

He said: “To this day my mum is fearful about going into hospital. Why? Because of the treatment she had received by Catherine Hudson and others at Blackpool.

"This will haunt us for the rest of our lives."

The pair were jailed for a joint total of just over 10 years.
The pair were jailed for a joint total of just over 10 years. Picture: Lancashire Police

WhatsApp exchanges revealed ‘culture of abuse’

The court also heard there had been a “culture of abuse” after police examined WhatsApp messages between Hudson and Wilmot, as well as other staff members.

Hudson wrote about one of her victims, Sheila Clarke: "I sedated one of them to within an inch of her life lol. Bet she's flat for a week haha xxx."

Hudson also wrote about another male elderly patient: “I'm going to kill bed 5 xxx."

Wilmot replied: "Pmsl (pissing myself laughing) well tonight sedate him to high heaven lol xxx."

The next evening, Hudson messaged Wilmot: "If bed 5 starts he will b getting sedated to hell pmsfl. I'll get u the abx (antibiotic) xxx."

Later, Hudson wrote: "I've just sedated him lol he was gearing up to start xxx."

Wilmot replied: "Pmsl praise the lord Xxx."

Judge Altham said of Wilmot’s messages about the patient: “To her he was a nuisance, a troublemaker. Sedation was a cause of humour, satisfaction and ultimately celebration."

In a separate incident, Hudson messaged Wilmot about elderly patient, Janet Westhead, whose daughter had complained about her mother's care: “R u actually kidding me?? Surely there's no-one worse than her!! Which bay?? I'm in pink tonight, no dickheads had better b in there or they r being sedated (laughing emojis)!! Xxx."

Wilmot replied: "Yeah very f****** annoying. Give her the best sleep she ever had pmsl (laughing emojis) xxx."

Hudson said: "Permanently (laughing emojis) xxx."

Det Ch Insp Jill Johnston, of Lancashire Police, said: “Hudson and Wilmot ill-treated patients without care or compassion, laughing when they came to harm and drugging them to keep them quiet so that they could have an easy shift.

“The risks associated with these callous acts were obvious – inappropriately sedating elderly stroke patients could lead to added health complications and even death.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reached a plea deal.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not be extradited to US after reaching plea deal

Princess Anne is reportedly unable to remember what happened due to the nature of the injury.

Princess Anne ‘unable to recall exactly what happened’ after being ‘hit by horse’ as she faces several days in hospital

England have qualified for the last 16 at Euro 2024.

England qualify for last 16 at Euro 2024 after Spain beat Albania

Rishi Sunak criticised Labour's proposed plans to tackle migration rates in the UK.

UK would be ‘illegal migration capital of world’ under Labour, Sunak says as he sets out plans to ‘stop the boats’

Labour has made cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' should the party come to power

Labour makes cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' as Starmer proposes new child criminal exploitation offence

Spanish police are investigating if Jay's 'background' is relevant to the disappearance.

Spanish police searching for Jay Slater investigate if teenager’s background is ‘relevant’ to his disappearance

Lord Kinnock has said he would not wish being part of the current Tory government on his 'most bloodthirsty enemies'.

‘I wish I was fighting this lot’, ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock says as he brands current Tory party 'superficial'

The president of Finland has said he 'doesn't agree with many things' Nigel Farage says in response to his comments on the war in Ukraine.

'Absolutely not': Finland's president dismisses Nigel Farage’s claim that Nato provoked Russia's war in Ukraine

A man went missing in the water off Bournemouth beach (file image)

Huge search operation launched for man missing in water off Bournemouth beach

Bosses face £1,000 fine for letting employees watch England's Euros clash with Denmark in the office

Offices showing England v Slovenia Euros clash could face hefty £1,000 fine

Princess Anne has been injured by a horse

King Charles sends 'fondest love’ to Princess Anne who will ‘quickly bounce back’ after being hit by horse

Callum the stag was "humanely euthanised".

Tourists blamed for death of 'legendary' stag after it was fed Rice Krispies and croissants

The Reform UK leader's comments came as he spoke to supporters at a rally in Kent on Tuesday, slamming the current government's ability to control immigration.

Farage warns of Channel migrant 'invasion' from countries 'with terrorism, gang culture and war zones'

Gavin Plumb is accused of plotting to kidnap Holly Willoughby

Obsessed security guard ‘plotted to keep Holly Willoughby in dungeon where screams couldn't be heard for miles'

At least two people have died in the fire

At least two dead as Moscow defence research centre bursts into flames ‘with staff trapped inside’

Parisians along River Seine, below Cathedral Notre Dame celebrate Fête de la Musique - annual city-wide music festival each June

British woman 'gang-raped in Paris at music festival'