Lily Cartier, aged 53 from Mill Lane, Felbridge, was convicted of two counts of administering poison to inflict grievous bodily harm and two counts of fraud.
The case began in February 2017 when Cartier’s partner, 71-year-old John Sharrard, started experiencing health problems. Initially, his condition was a mystery, with doctors suspecting Parkinson’s disease due to muscle spasms and cognitive slowing.
John’s health continued to decline until October of the same year, when he suffered two collapses, leading to hospital admissions each time.
Suspicion arose when John’s brother expressed concerns to Surrey Police about Cartier, who was cohabiting with John, potentially poisoning him.
Medical tests later revealed the presence of warfarin, a blood-thinning medication, in John’s system. Additionally, a hair sample analyzed by a Surrey Police Scenes of Crime Officer showed traces of haloperidol, an antipsychotic drug.
John confirmed he had not taken these drugs knowingly, raising suspicions that Cartier might have been administering them in his food or drink. Given her employment in a pharmacy, Cartier had access to various medications.
In November 2017, Cartier was apprehended, with haloperidol found in her handbag and warfarin discovered in her bedside cabinet.
Following Cartier’s arrest, John’s health remarkably improved and he made a full recovery.
Further investigation revealed unauthorized transactions on John’s bank cards while he was hospitalized, including purchases of jewelry, clothing, and cash withdrawals totaling over £6,000.
Cartier was formally charged on August 11, 2020. Despite pleading not guilty, she was convicted by a jury on October 23, 2023.
John Sharrard has since passed away from unrelated medical issues since Cartier’s initial arrest in 2017.
Impact statements from John’s family were read to court yesterday, one of which said:
“From an outgoing person, (John) became quiet and lost spontaneity. He physically developed a shuffling gait and an expressionless face and his speech became slower and monotonous. Eventually he become incoherent. This appalling callous woman put so little value on my brother’s life. It is hard to believe that a human being could treat another in this cruel way. John was put through unimaginable suffering by Lily Cartier because of her greed.”
DC Kieran Gamble said: “This is a horrific case in which Cartier deliberately poisoned someone who trusted her over a prolonged period of time. She was planned and meticulous as she carried out her crimes and showed no remorse for John’s suffering when he lay in hospital. Instead, she decided to go on a shopping trip fraudulently using his bank cards. Now she is behind bars I hope John’s family can take some comfort that justice has been done on his behalf.”