Jurors have been shown ‘revolting, horrific’ footage taken inside the home where a disabled 16-year-old girl was found dead lying in soiled clothing and bed linen.
Alun Titford, 45, is accused of the manslaughter of his daughter Kaylea, who weighed over 22 stone when she died in October 2020 at her home in Newtown, Powys, Wales.
The jury at Mold Crown Court was shown images and body-worn footage of her living conditions, described by the prosecution as ‘squalor and degradation’.
The police officer recording the footage can be heard retching as he chronicles the grim interior.
Jurors were old Kaylea was ‘let down’ by health and social services.
In his closing speech, David Elias KC, defending, said they had heard evidence there should have been more support for the teen, who had spina bifida and used a wheelchair.
He said: ‘Not every family who is let down ends up in the situation we have seen, thank heavens, but it is important evidence, we submit, in the context of this defendant’s behaviour.’
Mr Elias told the court Kaylea was discharged from physiotherapy in 2017 and the following year was discharged from a dietetics service because her mother, Sarah Lloyd-Jones, did not make a new appointment.
The jury heard that in April 2017 a social worker agreed with Lloyd-Jones there was no role for the children-with-disabilities team.
Mr Elias said: ‘What happened, once all those services withdrew for various reasons, but also because of the input of mum, what happened to Kaylea’s weight? How difficult then did it become for those looking after her?’
The court heard Lloyd-Jones, who had six children with Titford, had pleaded guilty to gross negligence manslaughter.
Mr Elias said Kaylea’s mother, who worked as a carer from 2018, was responsible for most of her care after she reached puberty, as Titford said he stepped back because he wasn’t ‘comfortable’.
The barrister said it was ‘reasonable’ for Titford to believe his partner was looking after Kaylea and aware of the danger of pressure sores on her legs.
He said: ‘It was Sarah who was dealing with that and that’s not passing the buck, that’s what was happening.’
Mr Elias said Titford was a full-time removal worker, working 40 to 50 hours a week and 15 days straight before Kaylea’s death.
He added: ‘Here is a defendant who was working throughout, who we say quite rightly, because he was entitled to, because of everything that she had done so well, truly believed until the day Kaylea was found that Sarah Lloyd-Jones was doing the right thing, was giving the right treatment and didn’t know that she wasn’t.’
Mr Elias told jurors to ‘divorce’ themselves from the ‘graphic nature’ of the images.
He said: ‘The horror at the end of the case is not the benchmark, necessarily for guilt or innocence.
‘It is revolting, it is horrific, there’s no dispute about it, but you have to look at how it got to that point, but more importantly, whether you are sure Alun Titford, leaving aside Sarah Lloyd-Jones because she accepts she was, is in any way criminally liable for the situation we know occurred.’
Titford, of Colwyn, Newtown, denies gross negligence manslaughter and an alternative count of causing or allowing the death of a child.
The case was adjourned to Monday, when judge Mr Justice Martin Griffiths will sum up and the jury is expected to start deliberations.
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