Blackpool social services under investigation after disabled woman is starved to death by her mother

Social services involved in the care of a vulnerable disabled Blackpool woman will be investigated in connection with her death at the hands of her mother.

By Wes Holmes
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 7:34 am

Deborah Leitch, 24, who had Down's Syndrome, was dead found at her family home on Garden Terrace, South Shore, on August 29, 2019. A post-mortem found she died from severe emaciation following a long period of neglect, and a severe scabies skin infection.

Her mother Elaine Clarke, 49, pleaded guilty to her manslaughter at Preston Crown Court on Friday, January 21.

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Deborah Leitch

Today, Blackpool Council confirmed that all local agencies, including social services, involved in Miss Leitch's care will be placed under investigation following Clarke's sentencing on February 7.

Coun Jo Farrell, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “The circumstances that led to Deborah’s death are deeply upsetting, for a young woman to have lost her life in such a cruel way at the hands of her mother is truly shocking.

“Deborah’s death was reported to the Safeguarding Adults Board and when the criminal proceedings conclude a formal safeguarding adults review will take place.

“The outcome of this review will be made public in due course along with any recommendations for local agencies.

“Our thoughts are very much with Deborah’s extended family.”

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