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Review following death of obese teenager should ‘leave no stone unturned’

07 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Kaylea Titford (left) and Alun Titford arriving at court (right Photo: Andrew Price)

A review following the death of an obese teenager should leave “no stone unturned”, a charity has said.

Disabled Kaylea Titford, 16, weighed almost 23 stone when she was found dead at her home in Newtown, Powys, Wales in October 2020.

Her father Alun Titford, 45, was convicted on Tuesday of her manslaughter by gross negligence and her mother Sarah Lloyd-Jones, 39, pleaded guilty to the offence last year.

Titford’s trial at Mold Crown Court heard Kaylea had been discharged from physiotherapy and dietetics services in the years before her death and a social worker had not visited her at home since April 2017.

Powys County Council and Powys Teaching Health Board said a child practice review would be carried out.

The court heard Kaylea, who had spina bifida and used a wheelchair, did not return to Newtown High School following lockdown in March 2020, despite staff contacting her mother on a number of occasions after it reopened in September.

The view looking from the bedroom of Kaylea Titford. Photo: Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police

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.

NSPCC Cymru assistant director Tracey Holdsworth said: “Research shows that young people with disabilities are three times more at risk of abuse, and while Kaylea’s parents are to blame for her death this case shows why having effective safeguarding systems in place across our communities is crucial.

“A child safeguarding practice review must leave no stone unturned in establishing what more could have been done to protect Kaylea and, crucially, ensure that other children do not suffer such appalling neglect unnoticed.”

The soiled bed used by Kaylea Titford. Photo: Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police.

A spokesman for Powys Teaching Health Board said: “A child practice review will take place and will involve all relevant agencies following a clear statutory framework.

“It is important that this review has the opportunity to consider the issues raised by this tragic case, and it would not be appropriate for the health board to comment further until this process has been completed.”

A Powys County Council spokesman also said a “concise child practice review” would be carried out.

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

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