Blackpool mum admits killing disabled daughter by starving her to death

A Blackpool woman has admitted killing her disabled daughter by slowly starving her to death.

By Wes Holmes
Friday, 21st January 2022, 2:40 pm

Elaine Clarke, 49, of Garden Terrace, pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of her daughter Debbie Leitch at Preston Crown Court today.

The body of Miss Leitch, who had Down's Syndrome, was found at the family home in South Shore on August 29, 2019.

A post-mortem found she died from severe emaciation and neglect with an extensive scabies skin infection.

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Elaine Clarke

Six people were arrested in connection to 24-year-old's death. Clarke was charged with gross negligent manslaughter, while her former partner Robert Bruce, 45, from Rothwell in Leeds, was charged with allowing or causing the death of a vulnerable adult.

The charge against him was later dropped, however.

Clarke previously pleaded not guilty to killing her vulnerable daughter, but changed her plea just 10 days before the case was due to go to trial.

Deborah Leitch

Judge Amanda Justice Yip said to her: "You are well aware of the inevitable outcome that you will be going to prison, and I think the time has come that I am going to remand you to prison to make sure you are here on time on the next occasion."

She added: "As far as (Mr Bruce) is concerned, a not guilty verdict has been entered and (he) will be released."

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