Nursing homes can be dangerous places. In the past 20 years of reviewing and investigating nursing home abuse and neglect cases, I have heard and seen some unbelievable acts of greed, cruelty, and exploitation but this latest story is one of the sickest. A teenager named Josh Howarth has been arrested for attempting to rape an elderly woman in a ‘sickening attack’ as she lay in her nursing home bed.
Howarth, 18, broke through a ground floor window to try to attack his vulnerable victim – in her 80s – in the early hours of August 4. He was disturbed by a member of staff at New Thursby Nursing Home at around 5am and fled the scene. He was found after a manhunt and arrested on suspicion of attempted rape. Unfortunately, his victim never saw Howarth brought to justice as she died on October 24.
Detective Inspector Jamie Lillystone of Lancashire Police said: ‘This was a sickening attack on a vulnerable elderly lady at a place where she should have felt safe. ‘Howarth went to great lengths to break into her bedroom and had intentions of carrying out the most despicable crime. ‘The only consolation is that he was disturbed by a member of staff, but nonetheless this was an extremely traumatic experience. ‘Haworth’s actions were predatory and dangerous. He will now spend a significant amount of time behind bars.’