Charity offers £20,000 reward to help convict killer of woman, 75, who died in her hospital bed after being sexually assaulted
- Valerie Kneale, 75, died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in November 2018
- She was admitted four days prior after having a stroke and breaking her leg
A £20,000 reward has been offered in exchange for information in the case of a woman who died in her hospital bed after being sexually assaulted.
Valerie Kneale, 75, died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on November 16 2018 from a haemorrhage caused by a ‘non-medical related internal injury’.
The vulnerable mother had been admitted four days earlier after having a stroke and breaking her leg falling from a chair.
It is believed that she had suffered the secondary internal injury due to a vaginal tear, caused by a sex attack committed after she moved on to the hospital’s stroke ward.
A male member of staff was arrested on suspicion of murder, two offences of rape and one offence of sexual assault but was never charged.
More than four years after Ms Kneale’s death, independent charity Crimestoppers has announced it is offering up to £20,000 in exchange for anonymous information leading to the conviction of her killer.
A £20,000 reward has been offered in exchange for information in the case of Valerie Kneale, 75, who died in her bed at Blackpool Victoria Hospital from a haemorrhage caused by a ‘non-medical related internal injury’ in 2018
Gary Murray, Crimestoppers regional manager for the North West, said: ‘Whilst four years may have passed, our thoughts are very much with Valerie’s family and friends who remain desperate for answers as to exactly what happened.
‘Valerie was a patient in hospital undergoing important medical treatment when she endured an horrific attack which ultimately led to her death. We believe there are people who know what happened or have suspicions.
‘Crimestoppers is here to help make all our communities safe by giving people a way to speak up about crime, completely anonymously. You can talk to us with no comeback. That means we never ask for or store any of your personal details.
‘If you know something, even if you think it’s insignificant, what you know could make a positive difference.
‘Please call our UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week or use our website’s simple and secure anonymous online form.
The vulnerable mother had been admitted to the hospital on November 12 after having a stroke and breaking her leg after falling from a chair. It is believed that she had suffered the secondary internal injury due to a vaginal tear, caused by a sex attack committed after she moved onto the hospital’s stroke ward
‘We cannot trace your call or track your IP address and we never ask for or record any personal information. No one will ever know you contacted us.’
Reports of mistreatment and neglect on Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s stroke unit were logged the same month as Ms Kneale’s death in November 2018, prompting an investigation into the attack.
Three nurses and two healthcare charges appeared in Preston Crown Court in June 2022, accused of offences relating to the theft of drugs and ill-treatment of patients, including being given unprescribed sedation.
All five defendants were granted unconditional bail and will return to court on August 8 this year.
The reward for information in the case of Ms Kneale will only be payable for information passed directly to Crimestoppers and not to the police. A reward code must be asked for when calling the charity on 0800 555 111.
If you contact Crimestoppers via the anonymous online form, the ‘keeping in contact’ facility must be used and a reward code must be requested. You must log back in 24 hours later to get the code.