Man charged with nine counts of sexual assault at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
A man has been charged with sex offences in connection with investigations related to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
In November 2018, police began investigating allegations of mistreatment and neglect on the hospital’s stroke unit.
Enquiries led to the identification of other offences, including the murder of a 75-year-old woman from Blackpool and alleged sexual offences against patients and staff at the hospital.
In March, a healthcare professional was arrested on suspicion of murder, two offences of rape and one offence of sexual assault. He was rearrested in connection with further offences of rape and sexual assault in July. The man was suspended by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
Today (Wednesday, December 1), following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, Hernando Puno, 51, of Layton, Blackpool, has been charged with nine counts of sexual assault related to seven women.
The charges are alleged to have occurred at the hospital between November 2012 and March 2021.
Puno has been bailed to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on January 4, 2022.
This inquiry is not linked to the ongoing investigation into allegations of mistreatment and neglect. The murder investigation into the death of Valerie Kneale continues.
Anyone with information in connection with the investigation can contact police on 101 or report online at: https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk quoting log 0757 of December 1.
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.