Elaine Clarke, 49, admitted to killing her daughter and was sentenced of gross neglectful homicide of 24-year-old Debbie Leitch who had Down’s syndrome. Debbie passes away from severe leanness and negligence. Elaine abandoned her to die in pain without nourishment in the most awful surroundings. Elaine has been jailed for nine years and seven months.
Debbie’s body was only discovered inside her house in Blackpool, Lancashire by emergency services. Emergency services defined the sight as truly appalling with Debbie face completely covered with scabs and thickened skin such that she was no longer identifiable as being a young female when she was discovered. She was suffering to such a degree that police were at first not capable to identify her sex when they found her body.
Debbie’s mother had received weekly benefit payments of £215 to look after her daughter but she pleaded guilty having initially denied the offence. The court said that Debbie’s situation had got worse dramatically in the months leading up to her death.
Debbie was extremely thin with a severe rash to the scalp, the face and the soles of the feet. The dress worn by her was dirty and bugs were found creeping on them. A live worm was found next to the body. As her dress was cut away from her body, bits of skin came away with it as it had adhered to her body. Debbie’s hair was falling out due to the scabies rash. Debbie’s ribs were evident through the skin and all of her limbs were lost and the rash was widespread on them.
The post-mortem report revealed that large areas of skin fell away from the body and more than 30 per cent of her skin was covered in the rash which was more severe in some parts of the body than others.
Elaine’s niece, Sammy Mugridge, visited the home a month before Debbie’s demise. She found Debbie lying on a dirty mattress in a dark smelly room covered in takeaway boxes and dirty nappies.
Sammy told the court that she will certainly not forget the last day she saw Debbie alive. Debbie was so skinny and her hair had been hacked off and her skin looked like raw flesh. It was like somewhat out of a horror film.
She warned Elaine that Debbie would die if she was not looked after and then reported her to social services.
Following a safeguarding, a general practitioner arranged a home visit the same day. As a result, Elaine made hard work to clean up the room and put her daughter in the shower. Elaine reassured the general practitioner that she was treating her daughter’s skin infection with medicine.
The doctor made arrangements to make a second visit but when he reached, he was unable to gain admission to the property and efforts to place a follow-up were overlooked. But Debbie’s condition continued to deteriorate and she was heard crying by a neighbour in the days leading up to her death.
When Elaine finally called 999, it was firm that Debbie had been dead. Elaine at first denied the illegitimate killing of her susceptible daughter but changed her plea to guilty just 10 days before the case was due to go to hearing in the court.
While passing the judgement, Judge told Elaine that she only responsible for Debbie’s death. Elaine continued to ignore her accountability and have done completely nothing to care for her daughter. She merely abandoned her to die alone in pain, deprived of nourishment and in the most terrible state.
Debbie was a cheerful child growing up but she did not have the care and warmth that she be worthy of. She loved horses and she would often stand in the mirror grooming her long hair. All she wanted was love and affection from her mother but regrettably her mother by no means gave it to her.
She was seldom taken out socially and was left at home when her mother went out. She wore her mother’s clothes for the reason that she never had any of her own.
Debbie’s mom has continuously been a lazy and selfish mom who was only attentive to her own personal needs. She completely neglected her children. People were always trying to help Elaine but she always rejected help, considering she knew better.
Debbie didn’t have a life. Her life was deprived by her own mother who brought her to this world and supposed to look after and cared for her.