Glasgow & West Scotland

Neil Crilley trial: Man cleared of killing wife who lay injured for weeks

Maureen and Neil Crilley
Image caption Neil Crilley was cleared of the culpable homicide of his wife, Maureen

A pensioner has been cleared of killing his wife by failing to get her medical attention.

Maureen Crilley, 67, died in hospital after spending eight weeks lying on her living room floor with a broken leg.

At the High Court in Glasgow a jury found a charge of culpable homicide against her husband not proven.

Neil Crilley, 77, claimed his wife begged him not to call an ambulance after she fell at their home in Clydebank in July 2017.

She died after a pressure sore on her back became infected, causing spinal meningitis.

Prosecutors alleged the former shipyard worker with BAE Systems had failed to obtain "appropriate, timely and adequate" medical help for his wife from 1 July to 2 September 2017, causing her "unnecessary suffering".

Mr Crilley, now of Whitecrook, West Dunbartonshire, had denied the charge and previously told the court that evidence given by doctors during his trial made him realise his wife was in agony as she died.

He said his wife had a fear of hospitals and needles, and that he was unaware that his wife was lying in her own filth and had two sores festering on her back - one of them the size of a saucer.

Image caption May Mackie said justice was not done

Speaking outside of court, Mrs Crilley's sister May Mackie said: "Two years we've waited for this, and justice was not done. Leaving my sister to rot in hell, that's what he done.

"He left her lying for nine weeks, couldn't get up, couldn't eat. Said he put nightdresses on her, [but] she was left naked.

"What is this all about?"

Lying naked on the floor

The trial previously heard from a GP called out to the house. She recalled finding Mrs Crilley naked on the living room floor, surrounded by nappies.

The doctor said it was the worst case she had seen in 32 years.

Mrs Crilley was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, where she died on 4 September 2017.

Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption Neil Crilley was acquitted of a charge of culpable homicide

Mr Crilley told the court: "I totally failed her and I don't want to live - I don't deserve to live."

In evidence, he said he cooked mince and potatoes and fish cakes for her while she lay on the floor.

He said he had no sense of smell and did not realise how bad her injuries were.

The court heard Mrs Crilley would have survived if medical treatment had been sought promptly.

Mr Crilley told his QC Tony Graham that he visited his wife's grave every day and spoke to her.

He was asked if he had wanted his wife dead and replied: "No, God, no. Maureen was my life, I will never smile again. I wanted to look after her for the time we had left."

He told jurors that his wife would hide her illnesses from him to avoid going to the doctors. In 2009, she broke her kneecap and he said it took him six weeks to persuade her to go to hospital.

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