Jailed, parents who let obese girl die in ‘shocking’ squalor
A COUPLE who killed their obese daughter by leaving her in bed-ridden squalor after the country went into lockdown were yesterday jailed for what a judge called ‘shocking and prolonged neglect’.
Sarah Lloyd-Jones and Alun Titford were told Kaylea Titford, 16, endured ‘prolonged and significant’ suffering and degradation before dying in her squalid bedroom in October 2020.
Lloyd- Jones, 40, was jailed for six years after admitting manslaughter by gross negligence while Titford, 45, was given seven years and six months after being convicted of the same charge at a trial.
Before the Covid pandemic struck, Kaylea – who was born with spina bifida and used a wheelchair – was a ‘fiercely independent’ teenager. She had been tipped to be a future Paralympic basketball player.
However, she did not return to her mainstream school after lessons went online in March 2020, and her parents left her to become bed-ridden in the family home in Newtown, Powys.
In the three months before she was found dead, Lloyd- Jones and Titford spent more than £1,000 on fattening takeaways, a court heard.
By the time her body was found in conditions described as ‘unfit for any animal’, Kaylea weighed 22st13lb, with a body mass index of 70.
A healthy BMI is considered to be less than 25. In the first televised sentencing hearing since cameras were allowed into the crown courts in Wales, Mr Justice Griffiths told Titford – a removals worker who admitted being ‘lazy’ – and LloydJones that they were ‘equally responsible’ for Kaylea’s death. The couple have five other children.
‘Kaylea Titford made a success of her life,’ he told them at Swansea Crown Court. ‘She was funny, determined and fiercely independent.
‘But she died just after her 16th birthday.’
The judge said the couple ‘caused her death by shocking and prolonged neglect over lockdown’.
He added that by the time of her death she was ‘lying in her own filth’. He told the pair that the ‘suffering and degradation she experienced before she died was prolonged and significant’.
Lawyers representing the couple argued in court yesterday that the pair did not have adequate support from social services.
Kaylea, who had attended Newtown High School, died of inflammation and infection, arising from obesity and immobility. A child practice review encompassing Kaylea’s involvement with health services, her school and other agencies is being carried out.
She had been discharged from physiotherapy and dietetics services in the years before her death and had last been seen by a social worker at home in 2017. Teachers repeatedly asked her mother why she had not returned to lessons once schools reopened, but were given excuse after excuse, the trial heard.