THE devastated family of a grandmother who died after her bed was set alight, have re-lived her tragic death in a bid to catch her killer.
Edith Stuart’s distraught loved ones have spoken out for the first time since the fatal fire at Cleveleys Park Rest Home.
They are pleading for the 96-year-old’s murderer to give themselves up so they can finally gain some closure from the ordeal.
Shirley Fish, Mrs Stuart’s daughter, from Poulton, said: “They set fire to mum’s bed and walked away, leaving her there – it must have been so frightening. She must have been terrified. These are the thoughts which go through our minds.
“We’re a normal, ordinary family, this sort of thing doesn’t happen. But it has and it must not happen to anyone else, someone needs to be caught. They have destroyed more than my mother.
“I would beg that person to give themselves up. It would help all of us. It will never go away, that trauma will always be there because it’s happened.”
The great-grandmother-of-four had been given a sleeping tablet, as normal, before being put to bed by carers at the home on Stockdove Way. She was asleep in bed when someone walked into her room and set fire to the bedding on Monday, October 18, according to her family.
Nine pensioners and staff were evacuated by ﬁreﬁghters.
Mrs Stuart, a former weaver, bravely fought for life for 30 hours before she died in Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, after suffering terrible burns and smoke inhalation.
Murder squad detectives immediately launched an inquiry and two staff members at the rest home were arrested. They have since been released without charge.
Mrs Stuart’s family hope their appeal will prompt anyone with information to come forward.
Caronne Field, Mrs Stuart’s granddaughter, 53, from Kendal, said: “It was started deliberately. The care home was locked that night. Someone has gone into grandma’s bedroom while she was lying in bed. They set fire to the bedding, which was on top of her, using a lighter. She couldn’t get off the bed. We can’t imagine why anyone would do that. Someone lives to be 96 and they have to die in that way.”
Mrs Stuart’s daughter Jean Worgan, 67, from Northampton, added: “It’s been very hard. The fire, the burns, the smoke inhalation didn’t kill her straight away, she lived for 30 hours. But we couldn’t stroke her, hold her hand or hug her. All we could do is touch her cheek and let her know we were there for her. It was so surreal. It was like being on a television set for a murder play.”
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