A mother and father have been sentenced to a combined 13 and a half years for killing their 16-year-old disabled daughter, who weighed over 22st at the time of her death.
Kaylea Titford, who suffered from spina bifida, was found dead at her home in Newtown, Powys, in October 2020 in conditions described as “unfit for any animal”.
Her mother Sarah Lloyd-Jones, 39, admitted manslaughter by gross negligence last year, while her father, Alun Titford, denied the charges and was found guilty after a trial last month.
Titford has been sentenced to seven and a half years, while Lloyd-Jones was given a reduced sentence of six years in recognition of her guilty plea.
Delivering the sentence in court today, Mr Justice Griffiths said: “This was a horrifying case. A care of sustained neglect leading to the death of a completely dependent bedridden vulnerable disabled child at the hands of parents.
“And it is not only the death. I have no doubt that the suffering and degradation she experiened before she died was prolonged and significant.”
The pair’s setencing on Wednesday was the first court hearing in Wales to be televised.
Kaylea, who used a wheelchair, weighed 22st 13lb with a BMI of 70 at the time of her death and had been forced to lie in bed in soiled clothing on puppy training pads.
She died after suffering inflammation and infection from ulcerations caused by obesity and immobility, the court heard.
Maggots were found on her body when it was examined and emergency service workers described feeling sick due to the rotting smell in her bedroom when they entered it.
Kaylea had attended her local high school but had not returned after the first Covid lockdown in March 2020.
The teenager had been bed-bound for many months before her death and had not used the toilet or shower since before the lockdown started, the judge said.
During the opening submissions of today’s sentencing, prosecutor Caroline Rees KC said: “By the time of her death between October 9-10, Kaylea Titford was living in conditions unfit for any animal, let alone for a vulnerable 16-year-old girl who depended on others for her care.
“Kaylea lived and died in squalor and degradation.”
The lawyer representing Kaylea’s mother told the court Lloyd-Jones had become “gradually overwhelmed” during lockdown and had developed “major depression”.
David Alias KC, representing Kaylea’s father, said Titford took a lesser role in Kaylea’s care and argued the family should have been offered more support.
Mr Justice Griffiths said that both parents were “equally culpable” for Kaylea’s death. He said they were aware of the help available to them, but this had been “ignored when it was offered”.