Inquest set to open into death of Valerie Kneale 'murdered' on stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

An inquest is set to open into the death of Valerie Kneale who was attacked while recovering from a stroke at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
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Mrs Kneale, 75, from Blackpool, was murdered on the stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on November 16, 2018.

A post-mortem examination found that she had died following a haemorrhage caused by a “non-medical related internal injury”, leading police to open a murder investigation into her death.

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Despite a lengthy investigation, including interviewing hospital staff, medical reviews and forensic testing, detectives have yet to identify her killer.

Lancashire Police said the investigation is ongoing but the force was unable to provide any further update on their enquiries into the hospital murder.

An inquest into her death is set to open at Blackpool and Fylde Coroner’s Office on Friday, December 8.

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Lancashire Police also worked with BBC Crimewatch in a bid to catch the killer.

The programme featured a reconstruction of the circumstances around Valerie’s death and featured interviews with Valerie’s niece as her family continue to seek justice for the murdered mum.

A spokesperson for Crimestoppers 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.

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"We believe there are people who know what happened or have suspicions.

“If you know something, even if you think it’s insignificant, what you know could make a positive difference."

The force declined to provide a further update on its investigation when approached by the Gazette, but back in March, Det Chief Insp Johnston urged anyone with information to come forward.

“We remain fully committed to finding Valerie’s killer,” he said.

“We know someone will have information key to our investigation.

“We know someone can help us find the person responsible.”