March 5. 2024. 1:28

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Parents who let neglected daughter die in UK jailed for manslaughter

A mother and father in the United Kingdom who left their daughter in bed-ridden squalor have been jailed for gross negligence manslaughter.

Kaylea Titford (16) was found in conditions described as “unfit for any animal”, in soiled clothing and bed linen, following her death at the family home in Newtown, Powys, in October 2020.

Her parents, Sarah Lloyd-Jones (40) was jailed for six years, while her father, Alun Titford (45), was jailed for seven years and six months.

Swansea Crown Court heard the teenager weighed 22st 13lb, with a BMI of 70, at the time of her death in October 2020.

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Kaylea, who had spina bifida and used a wheelchair, died after suffering inflammation and infection from ulceration, arising from obesity and immobility.

In her last hours, as she lay screaming in bed, her father texted her twice telling her to stop but did not go and see her.

Kaylea had also sent a series of text messages to her mother pleading for help to clean the weeping sores on her legs and get rid of the flies landing on her, Lloyd-Jones replied, “For f*** sake.”

Emergency service workers, who were called to the house after she was found dead, described feeling sick due to a “rotting” smell in her room, while maggots were feeding on her body.

The teenager’s specially adapted room was dirty and cluttered, with bottles of urine near her bed and dog faeces in the ensuite bathroom.

The family would live off takeaways four or five nights a week and had spent over £1,000 (€1,124) on meals in the months leading up to her death.

Titford, who had denied manslaughter by gross negligence, told his trial he had let his daughter down so badly because he was “lazy” – leaving his partner to look after her.

She sent messages to him begging for help, telling him in one: “I’m absolutely exhausted, I can’t cope working and doing everything … all I’ve done is cry all day. I need you to help me.”

Care worker Lloyd-Jones, who had six children with Titford, had previously admitted the same charge.

Lewis Power KC, representing Lloyd-Jones, said she became “overwhelmed” during the lockdown. “It escalated to the horrendous situation where she withdrew from her everyday responsibilities and led the catastrophic outcome,” he said. “She accepts she neglected her duties of looking after her daughter.”

David Elias KC, representing Titford, said the removals worker worked 50 hours a week and claimed the family had been let down by the authorities – with Kaylea last been seen by a social worker at home in 2017. “A care package was needed and it should not have needed to be asked for it. They should have been offered it and were not,” he added.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Griffiths said the pair had committed “shocking and prolonged neglect over lockdown” but rejected the claim the family had been ignored by the authorities.

“By the end, they were not accessing or accepting any significant help at all for Kaylea,” he said. “But this was not for reasons beyond their control. It was part of their gross negligence towards the wellbeing of their daughter.”

He said both were equally to blame for the appalling living conditions their daughter found herself.

“He [Titford] ignored the smell and the dirt and the flies and the chaos, and the evidence of his own eyes and nose that she was not getting the care she needed,” he said. “He liked working – he did not like helping – and he was as he freely accepted too lazy to help.

“Equally, I do not accept that Sarah Lloyd-Jones can throw the blame onto her husband,” the judge said. “It was too much for her to do on her own, that I do accept, but it was her duty to ask for help and to accept it from the agencies which over the years she sometimes ignored or turned away.” — PA