Mum, 48, who starved her disabled daughter to death in a ‘dark room covered in excrement’ could face an INCREASED prison sentence
A mum who starved her disabled daughter to death in a dark, excrement-covered room could see her prison sentence increased.
Evil Elaine Clarke, 49, was jailed for nine years and seven months was sentenced to nine years and seven months in prison for admitting to the grossly negligent manslaughter of Debbie Leitch.
Debbie, who suffered from Down syndrome, weighed just 3lbs and 10lbs when she died in a room full of takeout boxes and used nappies at her home in Blackpool, Lancs, in 2019.
The 24-year-old “was not immediately recognizable as a woman” to horrified paramedics, a court heard.
Now Attorney General Suella Braverman has told the House of Commons that Clarke’s prison sentence has been reviewed under the unduly lenient sentencing regime.
The case has been taken to the Court of Appeal, which will now decide whether to increase it or not.
His announcement came after a local Tory MP, Scott Benton, complained that the sentence given to Clark was “unduly lenient”.
An autopsy revealed that Debbie’s death was caused by starvation and neglect as her skin was badly infected with scabies.
The room contained dried feces and there were live maggots on the floor.
Doctors believe she may have died 36 hours before her ‘lazy and selfish’ mother Elaine Clarke called paramedics.
A judge said Clarke “left Debbie to die in pain, without food and in the most horrible surroundings”.
Doctors found Debbie’s body on August 29, 2019, after being called by the ambulance service.
We heard that she was not immediately “recognizable as a young woman” because her face was covered in scabs and thickened skin.
Debbie’s jumper and pants had mites on them, and when her clothes were cut, they ripped off the skin that had adhered to the fabric.
His pants were soiled and his skin infection had caused his hair to fall out.
Judge Amanda Yip said: “Her hair was falling out.
“The scabies mites had been allowed to breed and multiply. Her skin was covered in scabs.
“His cause of death was neglect and emaciation.”
Heartbreakingly, the court heard Debbie “idolate” her vile mother. The youngster had a boyfriend and went to college.
But Clarke began to neglect the young woman, keeping her locked in a filthy room.
Social workers visited, but the defendant, who bought shoes and handbags while her daughter was starving, did not keep appointments with them.
Surprisingly, the case was then dismissed.
Debbie’s cousin, Sammy Mugridge, visited her in her bedroom shortly before her death.
“To see her in the room will live with me forever,” Ms Mugridge said.
“The stench was amazing. I can only describe it as the stench of death.
“Debbie was so skinny. Her hair had been cut off, her skin looked like raw flesh. It was like something out of a horror movie.”
‘SHE CRIED FOR YOU’
Judge Yip told Clarke that her daughter had “trouble walking”.
“She cried for you,” she said.
“The family were horrified and said if you didn’t deal with them they would report you to the authorities.
“You reassured them she was now up, eating and being treated.”
After that, Clarke rubbed Debbie into an “excruciating” shower, we heard.
The court heard the victim “screaming” throughout the wash.
Neighbors said they heard the tragic girl sobbing for her mother in the days leading up to her death.
Six people have been arrested in connection with his death.
Clarke changed his plea to not guilty just ten days before his trial.
Her former partner Robert Bruce, 45, has been charged with allowing or causing the death of a vulnerable adult. The charge was later dropped.
Debbie’s father, Thomas Leitch, from Hastings in East Sussex, told Sun Online he learned of his beloved daughter’s death on Facebook.
“My ex-wife Amber was on the phone with her sister, who is friends with Elaine’s sister,” he said.
“Elaine posted a comment on Facebook.
“That’s how I found out. I had to contact Blackpool Police to find out what happened.”
Thomas immediately took over the funeral arrangements.
But he claims he didn’t qualify for a funeral grant and Elaine made the decision to bury Debbie in a pauper’s grave.
He said: “I managed to collect half of her ashes and buried her in a local church, right next to my father.
“At least I was able to do that for her.”
He said Debbie “just loved performing and being the center of attention”.
“Every time she saw me, her face lit up,” Thomas said.
“All I can do now is try to remember the good times, but the good times were forever ruined by what happened.”