Heartbroken family of gran who bled to death after hospital bed sex attack by predator are 'desperate for answers' | The SunMarch 10, 2023
THE heartbroken family of a gran who bled to death after a hospital bed sex attack have said they are "desperate for answers".
Valerie Kneale, 75, from Blackpool, was unable to fight back during the assault, which took place on November 12, 2018 in the hospital ward where she had been rushed after having a stroke hours before.
Detective Chief Inspector Jill Johnston told the Mirror: "For over four years Valerie’s family have been left truly devastated by her death – they are desperate for answers and cannot rest until they understand what happened. And at a time when she really was at her most vulnerable.
"We have received a positive response to this week’s Crimewatch appeal and would like to thank those that have taken the time to get in touch.
“We are working through the information provided to establish any new lines of enquiry.
"I would still like to appeal for information and would once again encourage anyone who can assist our investigation to come forward.
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"Please help us to get some closure for the family and get in touch."
Appearing on Crimewatch, Valerie's niece Lisa Jaffier said: "She was such a wonderful, lovely person, she was fun, she loved people, she enjoyed life and was the hub of the family and she had this really lovely skill of making you feel so special and so loved."
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Valerie's first stroke happened while she was eating dinner with her husband Bill, and her family initially expected her to recover.
Lisa said: "She was checked over and she was doing ok, she was sat up, communicating, obviously she was going to have challenges in her recovery, but we were all hopeful of a positive outcome.
"Her children wanted to stay with her that evening, but the hospital said she was in the best place, there is no need and she is going to be absolutely fine."
Valerie had another stroke that evening in the ward at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and never regained consciousness until she died on November 16.
It is not clear whether she was attacked before or after the second stroke.
The pathologist who carried out Valerie's post mortem found a major internal injury which they believed "was caused by a forcible sexual assault after she was admitted to hospital".
Crimestoppers have now come forward with a £20,000 reward for anyone who comes with information leading to a conviction.
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