The parents of a disabled girl who died after becoming morbidly obese have been jailed over her manslaughter.
Kaylea Titford had just turned 16 when she died in her home in Powys, weighing more than 22st.
At Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday, her father Alun Titford, 45, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison.
As it happened – live updates from court as Kaylea Titford’s parents jailed
He had been found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter after a three-week trial in Mold Crown Court in February, having previously denied the charge.
Sarah Lloyd-Jones, 39, Kaylea’s mother, earlier admitted manslaughter and was jailed for six years.
Handing down his sentence, Mr Justice Griffiths said: “Kaylea Titford made a success of her life.”
He added that she was an “accomplished wheelchair user who was competitive in national wheelchair sports”.
“Everything she could do for herself she did, but she died just after her 16th birthday,” he added.
Mr Justice Griffiths said Lloyd-Jones and Titford had “caused her death by shocking and prolonged neglect over lockdown”.
He added that it was “obvious that she [Lloyd-Jones] was failing” and that Titford had “ignored…the evidence of his own eyes and nose that [Kaylea] was not getting the care she needed”.
“His long hours at work are not an excuse, he liked working, he did not like helping”, adding that Titford “could and should have done more to help, and ask others for help”.
Mr Justice Griffiths said it was Lloyd-Jones’s “duty” to accept help but “she did not take up” any of the offers from external agencies.
This was not a lapse, concluded Mr Justice Griffiths, it was a “long and sustained period of criminal negligence”.
There was “no attempt to control her [Kaylea’s] diet, she could only eat what she was given”.
“It was perfectly obvious… that Kaylea was morbidly and dangerously obese,” he added.
He said it was “a horrifying case, a case of sustained neglect, leading to the death of a completely dependent… disabled child at the hands of her own parents”.
“Both defendants completely neglected to get the help that Kaylea needed, and sometimes it was ignored when offered.”
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Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police attended Kaylea’s home on 10 October 2020, after her family reported her death.
Kaylea had lived with hydrocephalus and spinabifida since birth but had received mainstream education and is said to have been a talented wheelchair basketball player.
Police say the conditions in which they found Kaylea were “abhorrent”, indicating “shocking neglect over a prolonged period of time, both environmentally and physically”.
‘Difficult to deal with’
The police investigation involved the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as well as medical, dental and environmental experts.
Iwan Jenkins, deputy chief crown prosecutor for CPS Cymru Wales, told Sky News that “cases of this nature are difficult to deal with”.
“They involve proving that someone has neglected to undertake their duty which is something they haven’t done rather than proving they have done something,” he added.
“The level of that neglect was important in this particular case, establishing the length of time, the deterioration that had happened which led to the untimely death of Kaylea.
“No child should have to face the horror of what she had to go through during her time prior to her death.
Mr Jenkins added that cases of a similar nature to Kaylea’s “would upset anybody”.
“They are difficult cases to deal with, and when you see a child who is lost as a result of a failure of someone to care for them, that obviously is distressing and is in need of professional and committed approaches from those responsible within the criminal justice system, to ensure that justice is done for those who suffer at the hands of people who should know better.”