Elaine Clarke Wiki
Elaine Clarke Biography
Who was Elaine Clarke?
Elaine Clarke, 49, “bought bags and shoes” while her daughter Debbie Leitch, 24, wasted away in a dark, faeces-covered room that “smelled like death.”Emergency services described the scene as “truly shocking”, with Ms Leitch’s face “completely covered in scabs and thickened skin, so that she was no longer recognizable as a young woman” when she was discovered on 29 March. August 2019.
She was in so much pain that police were initially unable to identify her gender when they found her body, which weighed only 3 pounds.
Causes of Death
A postmortem examination indicated that the cause of death was “severe emaciation and neglect with an extensive and severe skin infection of scabies.”
Clarke had received weekly benefit payments of £215 to care for her daughter, but she pleaded guilty to gross negligent homicide in December, having initially denied wrongdoing.
She today was jailed for nine years and seven months after admitting to gross negligent homicide at Preston Crown Court.
The court heard how Ms Leitch’s condition had “dramatically deteriorated” in the months before her death.
Prosecutor John Harrison
Prosecutor John Harrison QC told the court about the appalling condition Debbie’s decomposing body was found in when she was discovered by emergency services.
He said: ‘Debbie was extremely emaciated with a severe rash on her scalp, face and soles of her feet. The jumper and pants worn by the decedent were dirty and mites were found crawling on them. A urine-soiled diaper was found inside her pants.
‘A live worm was found next to her body. When the clothes were removed from her body, pieces of skin that had adhered to her body came off.
Mites were found crawling all over her back. Her pants were covered in liquid feces. Debbie’s hair was falling out due to the scabies rash. Her face was covered in the rash.
Debbie’s ribs were visible through her skin. All of her limbs were withered and the rash was widespread on them. Her buttocks were completely covered in feces that extended to her thighs.
“When her body was examined, large areas of skin were shed from her body. More than 30 percent of her skin was covered by the rash, which was more severe on some parts of her body than others.
Clarke’s niece, Sammy Mugridge, visited the house a month before Debbie’s death.
She found the daughter lying on a dirty mattress in a dark, smelly room covered in takeout boxes and dirty diapers.
She warned Clarke that Debbie would die if she wasn’t taken care of and subsequently reported her to social services.
Mrs Mugridge told the court: “I will never forget the last day I saw Debbie alive.” She knew that she was sick and not well, but seeing her in her room will live with me forever.
When Clarke finally called 999, it was determined that Debbie had been dead between eight and 36 hours.
Clarke initially denied unlawful killing of her vulnerable daughter, but changed her guilty plea in January, just 10 days before the case was due to go to trial.
Her former partner, Robert Bruce, 45, of Rothwell in Leeds, was charged with allowing or causing the death of a vulnerable adult, but this was later dismissed.
In sentencing today, Judge Amanda Yip told the defendant: ‘You are responsible for Debbie’s death. You were her mother, she lived with you and you were also paid as her caretaker.
‘At times you have continued to minimize your responsibility… You say you did the best you could. You can be in denial, both with yourself and with others, but you can’t say that’s true.
‘Not only did you not do your best, but you must have done absolutely nothing to take care of her.
Instead, you simply abandoned her so that she would die alone, in pain, without food, in the most terrible state. The pain he must have felt is evident.
The judge continued: ‘Debbie was starving, she allowed her scabies to get out of control, she got weaker and weaker until she died. In her last days, Sue was denied her most basic care and dignity.
Clarke must serve at least two-thirds of her prison sentence before she is eligible for release, after which she will remain on leave.