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UK judges increase sentences of couple jailed for disabled daughter's death

By Agence France-Presse Published May 21, 2023 9:55 am

Three appeal court judges on Friday, May 19 increased the jail sentences of a British couple for manslaughter after their disabled 16-year-old daughter died suffering from morbid obesity in utter squalor.

Kaylea Titford, described by police as a talented wheelchair basketball player who had been popular with her peers, was found dead at her home in Wales in October 2020 at a time of COVID-19 curbs.

She weighed nearly 23 stone (321 pounds, 146 kilograms) and was suffering from ulcers that had caused her body to rot away while she was still alive.

"By the time of her death, she was lying in her own filth, surrounded by flies which bothered her and maggots which fed on her," the judge at her parents' trial earlier this year.

He said the case was "horrifying."

Kaylea had dropped out of school when Wales and the rest of the UK entered the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020 but social services failed to check on her.

On Friday, lawyer William Emlyn Jones, representing the attorney general's office, told the Court of Appeal in London the sentences handed to her mother Sarah Lloyd-Jones, a 40-year-old care worker, and father Alun Titford, 45, had been "unduly lenient."

Judge Andrew Popplewell increased Lloyd-Jones's sentence from six to eight years while Titford's was increased from seven-and-a-half to 10 years.

Delivering the decision of a panel of three judges, Popplewell said: "The circumstances can only be categorized as extreme. Kaylea was living in unimaginable squalor."

The teenager had been left in "very considerable pain, misery, and distress," despite being vulnerable, he added.

The couple's trial had been told that Titford, a removals worker, heard his daughter screaming hours before she died but responded only to text her mobile phone to demand she stops. 

"He did not go and see what the matter was or get whatever help she needed," the judge said. "She was left to die alone."

The case has highlighted a lack of oversight by authorities, both before and during lockdowns.

Kaylea had not been seen for years by social workers and had stopped going to dieticians and physiotherapists. (AFP)