A man has gone on trial accused of manslaughter after his disabled teenage daughter became so obese that she died in “truly horrific circumstances” weighing 146kg (22st 13lbs).
By the time of her death in October 2020, Kaylea Titford, who had spina bifida, was “living in conditions unfit for any animal let alone a vulnerable 16-year-old girl who depended entirely on others for her care”, a jury at Mold crown court heard.
Her father, Alan Titford, 45, went on trial on Wednesday for manslaughter on the basis of gross negligence.
Sarah Lloyd Jones, Kaylea’s mother, has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence, accepting that she failed grossly in her duty of care towards her daughter, the jury heard.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Caroline Rees KC said both parents failed in their duty to care for Kaylea’s health and welfare needs, “their serious failures hidden from the scrutiny of the outside world from March 2020 by reason of the national lockdown during the global Covid pandemic”.
When police arrived at the family home in Newtown, Powys, on 10 October 2020, they found Kaylea dead. Her bedlinen was soiled through and she lay on filthy “puppy pads” that had absorbed leakages from her body. Her hair was dirty and matted and her toenails had not been cut for at least six months. Her skin was severely inflamed and ulcerated, at some points so deeply that fat was exposed.
There were maggots and flies on and around her body, which the prosecution say had been there in life as well as death. “Police officers who attended at the scene found the smell from the room where Kaylea had lived and died to be foul and horrendous,” Rees said. “Kaylea lived and died in squalor and degradation.”
The jury heard that Titford does not accept that he is guilty. “It is his case that Sarah Lloyd Jones was the primary carer of Kaylea Titford and that he, her father, had not been alerted to and was not aware of the state of his daughter’s living conditions or the deterioration in her physical state. It is his case that he never saw any alarming deterioration in Kaylea’s health and that her death came as a shock to him,” Rees said.
The prosecution disagrees. “We say that the truly horrific circumstances, both in sight and smell, in which Kaylea Titford was found dead on 10 October 2020 were such that Alan Titford must have known or at the very least should have known of the squalid and degrading conditions in which she lived, ate and slept, and the desperately neglected physical condition into which she had fallen,” Rees said.
“He lived in the same house as Kaylea during the period in which she lived in that degrading condition and he did absolutely nothing about it. The prosecution say that he could not simply wash his hands of his duty as a parent and place all responsibility at the other parent’s door.”
The case continues.