Court throws out claims over death

Miguel Cubells of Hindley and (below) his mother Eileen
Miguel Cubells of Hindley and (below) his mother Eileen

A GRIEVING son who claims his cancer-stricken mother was “killed” by negligent Wigan hospital staff has failed in his legal campaign for a fresh police investigation into what happened.

Former nurse, Eileen Cubells, 63, died at Wigan Infirmary in 2007, and her son, Miguel, has ever since been convinced that it was a case of gross negligence manslaughter and that there was a cover-up of the true circumstances surrounding her death.

Eileen Cubells

Eileen Cubells

The Hindley man’s claims sparked an investigation by Greater Manchester Police and, after that resulted in a conclusion that no crime had been committed, Mr Cubells took his complaints against the force to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Now, however, his campaign has hit the buffers at the Court of Appeal, where three senior judges upheld the IPCC’s ruling that the investigation had been properly conducted.

The country’s top civil judge, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, said Mrs Cubells was admitted to the hospital in October 2007 presenting with “classic signs” of lymphoma.

However, medics reached a “working diagnosis” of leptospirosis, an infection spread by rodents.

It was not until two weeks later that examination of her bone marrow revealed the mistake and anti-lymphoma therapies were not started until the day before she died.

Mr Cubells expressed his deep concerns to the Coroner for Greater Manchester West, saying that, in his view, hospital staff had “knowingly harmed” his mother, “killed” her in an attempt to hide earlier mistakes and then “covered up” the truth about what happened.

Greater Manchester Police investigated at the Coroner’s behest, but concluded that there was “no evidence to indicate that the death of Mrs Cubells was due to a criminal act.”

However, Mr Cubells remained convinced that there had been a cover-up and, after the force’s professional standards branch rejected his complaints, he accused investigating officers of being “in cahoots with the accused hospital.”

He complained to the IPCC last year, but the body concluded that the four officers at whom Mr Cubells had pointed the finger had done nothing wrong.

It said the criminal investigation had been up to scratch and the officers had acted appropriately.Challenging that ruling at the Court of Appeal, Mr Cubells said it was “irrational” and ignored crucial gaps in a consultant oncologist’s report on his mother’s death.

However, dismissing his appeal, Lord Dyson, sitting with Lords Justice Davis and Treacy, said the IPCC was “fully entitled” to conclude that police had been “diligent in pursuing all reasonable lines of inquiry” into Mr Cubells’s supsicions.

A Trust spokesperson commented, “The Trust is sorry that Mrs Cubells died whilst in our care and for the delay in the final diagnosis of her condition.

“We understand that a number of investigations into allegations against the Trust have concluded that the was no evidence to indicate any wrongdoing. “The allegations of deliberate wrongdoing were always both unfounded and offensive.”