The family of an elderly woman who was stabbed to death have raised concerns about failings in her care.

Barbara Heywood, 80, was stabbed to death by her husband, Arthur Heywood, on March 27, 2019 at their home on Ramsay Avenue in Farnworth.

Last February, a jury at Manchester Crown Court found that Heywood had killed his wife, but he could not stand trial due to a dementia diagnosis.

The court heard that Mrs Heywood had lived in fear of her "abusive husband" and had "repeatedly told nursing staff and social workers that she did not want him to return home" after he had been in hospital.

Now, Mrs Heywood’s family have called for an inquest into her death, as they believe there were failings in her care which led to her death.

A hearing was held at Bolton Coroners Court on Friday, May 2, to help determine whether a full inquest into her death should be held.

Mrs Heywood’s daughter, Yvonne Silcock, and her son-in-law, Colin Silcock, appeared at the review.

A coronial investigation was initially opened following Mrs Heywood’s death in 2019, but was closed afterwards due to another member of the family expressing "no concerns or issues" that could be dealt with by the coroners court.

Senior coroner Timothy Brennand said: “I have to decide whether there is significant reason for resumption.”

He added: “You are of the view that there was a lack of care or neglect, or gross failings to provide basic care to Barbara, who was vulnerable? Is that the family position?”

Mrs Silcock said "yes", continuing: “Why did the social workers allow dad to go back to the family home, knowing that domestic abuse had been reported by my mum?

“I understand it had been going on for a while, I don’t know what has been said by my mother to the social worker, we never found out.

“I just want to find out why and what was said. It could have gone on for years, physical abuse, financial abuse, psychological abuse.

“How many more types of abuse do you need to disclose to be listened to? And I don’t think she had been listened to.”

Mr Brennand said: “Why do you say that creates a serious or gross failing to provide basic care?”

Mrs Silcock replied: “The social worker told my father while he was in hospital that my mum had discussed abuse.

“I think that had given dad the opportunity and ammunition to do what he did.

“I think he went home and did it because of that. If he hadn’t been told by the social worker, I don’t think it would have happened.”

Mr Brennand gave Mrs Silcock a deadline of July 14 to highlight which family members would be interested persons in the inquest.

He also said that he would order a police coroners officer to make an appointment to interview Mrs Silcock.

The coroner also asked her to outline the family’s concerns with regards to why the death was unavoidable, as well as a separate statement outlining any opportunities that the family feel were missed.

Mr Brennand set a further review date for July 17. 

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