Blackpool mum denies causing starvation death of daughter Debbie Leitch

A Blackpool mum has denied causing the death of her vulnerable 24-year-old daughter by starvation.

By Matthew Calderbank
Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 12:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 12:26 pm

Today (Wednesday, May 19), Elaine Clarke, 49, appeared at Preston Crown Court and entered a not guilty plea to the unlawful killing of her daughter Debbie Leitch (pictured).

The body of Ms Leitch, who had Down's syndrome, was found by the ambulance service when they were called to her home in Garden Terrace, South Shore on the evening of August 29, 2019.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as severe emaciation and neglect with extensive scabies skin infection.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of Debbie Leitch's death as severe emaciation and neglect

Clarke has since been charged with the manslaughter of her daughter by gross negligence.

Appearing in the dock with Clarke was Robert Bruce, 45, who pleaded not guilty to causing or allowing the death of Ms Leitch, a vulnerable adult, between January 2019 and August 2019, whilst he was living with Clarke and her daughter Debbie.

A trial date of January 31 next year has been fixed with an estimated length of up to four weeks.

A pre-trial review will take place on November 19.

The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Robert Altham, extended unconditional bail for Clarke, of Garden Terrace, Blackpool, and Bruce, of Windsor Crescent, Rothwell, Leeds.

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