Shropshire Star

Father of obese teenager found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence

Kaylea Titford, who weighed 22st 13lb at the time of her death, was found in conditions described as ‘unfit for any animal’, Mold Crown Court heard.

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Kaylea Titford

A man has been found guilty of the manslaughter by gross negligence of his obese teenage daughter who was found dead in “squalor”.

Kaylea Titford, 16, was found in conditions described as “unfit for any animal”, in soiled clothing and bed linen, following her death at the family home in Newtown, Powys, Wales, in October 2020.

The 16-year-old weighed 22st 13lb, with a BMI of 70, at the time of her death, a trial at Mold Crown Court heard.

Her mother, Sarah Lloyd-Jones, 39, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence last year but her father, Alun Titford, denied the offence along with an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a child.

A jury took seven hours and 10 minutes to find the 45-year-old guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

After the verdict, judge Mr Justice Griffiths told jurors they could access support services, including the Samaritans, and gave them a 10-year exemption from jury service because of the “unusually distressing” subject matter heard at the trial.

Asked during his evidence why he had let his daughter down so badly, the removals worker said: “I’m lazy.”

The court heard that Kaylea, who had spina bifida and used a wheelchair, died after suffering inflammation and infection from ulceration, arising from obesity and immobility.

Emergency service workers, who were called to the house after she was found on October 10, described feeling sick due to a “rotting” smell in her room.

Following her death maggots were found which were thought to have been feeding on her body, the jury was told.

The court heard that her bedsheets were soiled and she was lying on a number of puppy toilet training pads.

Her room was said to be dirty and cluttered, with bottles of urine and a chip fryer with drips of fat down the side, as well as a full cake in a box.

Alun Titford court case
Kaylea Titford’s bedroom at her home in Newtown, Powys (Dyfed Powys Police/PA)

The court heard that Kaylea had attended Newtown High School, where she was described as “funny and chatty” by staff, but did not return following the coronavirus lockdown in March 2020.

Titford, who had six children with Lloyd-Jones, said the family would order takeaways four or five nights a week and he thought Kaylea had put on two or three stone since March.

The prosecution alleged that Kaylea had not used her wheelchair, which became too small for her, since the start of lockdown.

Caroline Rees KC, prosecuting, asked Titford: “She hadn’t been out of bed, had she?”

But he claimed he had seen her in the kitchen of the house in her wheelchair during that period, despite telling police in interview that he had not seen her out of bed.

The court heard that Kaylea 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.

Titford claimed Lloyd-Jones, who was a community care worker, was responsible for looking after Kaylea.

Alun Titford court case
Alun Titford arrives at Mold Crown Court (Andrew Price/PA)

He said he used to take her to medical appointments and care for her but stepped back when she reached puberty as he was not “comfortable”.

In cross-examination he accepted he was as much to blame for Kaylea’s death as her mother.

He was released on bail ahead of his sentencing at Swansea Crown Court on March 1 but was warned by the judge he faces prison.

A spokesman for Powys County Council said: “Following the conclusion of court proceedings, a concise child practice review is to be carried out and will involve all relevant agencies following a clear statutory framework.

“The local authority does not feel able to comment until this process has been completed.”

A spokesman for Powys Teaching Health Board said the child practice review will “consider the issues raised by this tragic case”.

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