Hoarder brother jailed and father, 93, handed suspended term after immobile relative dies in squalor

Father Cecil Ralph Burdett and son Philip Burdett at Leicester Crown Court Credit: PA Images

A brother who was described as an "extreme hoarder" has been jailed after his immobile sister died at their family home in Leicester.

Philip Burdett, 59, was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter after his sister Julie Burdett was left with "dreadful injuries".

Julie's father, Cecil Ralph Burdett, 93, has also been handed a suspended jail sentence for allowing his daughter’s death.

Leicester Crown Court heard Julie "died an appalling death" having spent the last two weeks of her life on her bedroom floor.

Cecil Burdett was unanimously cleared of the manslaughter of his daughter Julie Burdett, who was 61, but found guilty of the lesser offence by a jury at Leicester Crown Court in May 2022.

Paramedics were called to the family home on Oakside Crescent in Leicester on Tuesday January 15, 2019 by Julie's father, after a report that she had passed away.

Julie was found dead and in an extremely poor condition, which led East Midlands Ambulance Service to call police to attend.

Oakside Crescent Credit: Google Street View

An investigation found Julie had numerous serious health issues, including multiple sclerosis - and she rarely left the house.

Jurors were told her body weighed just 4st 10lbs.

Julie's brother was her main carer, while her father Cecil Burdett also helped with her daily care.

Cecil Burdett told the trial he had no idea his daughter was dying, and did not seek outside help because he "didn’t want to go against her wishes".

Prosecutors alleged the defendants left Julie to suffer "dreadful" injuries "surrounded by filth and squalor" for around two weeks in January 2019, before she died of extreme ulcerations.

Her health started to decline in early December 2018, after she suffered a fall.

Her father and brother both told police that Julie spent the last two weeks of her life laying on her bedroom floor unable to get up.

She had gradually stopped eating and drinking because of her mobility issues. A post-mortem examination later confirmed that she died as a result of infection.

Following an investigation, Cecil Ralph Burdett and his son were charged in April 2021.

Julie was described in court as intelligent and articulate, but she had developed a disease similar to multiple sclerosis by 1998, leaving her needing a wheelchair when she left the house.

Cecil Ralph Burdett told the trial he had no idea his daughter was dying Credit: PA

Speaking at the time of conviction in May 2022, Leicestershire Police's Detective Sergeant Adrian Davies, who was the investigating officer, said: "Our investigation concluded that both men were capable of recognising the decline in Julie’s health and failed in their duty of care to seek help for her.

"It was obvious that Julie’s condition was deteriorating and both men failed to seek any help until after she died, ultimately when it was too late.

"They failed Julie when she needed them most, a failure which contributed to what can only be described as very prolonged and painful death."

Superintendent Chris Baker, who oversaw the investigation, said: "This is certainly one of the most distressing and difficult cases I have worked on in my time in policing.

"It has resulted in a long and complex investigation to allow us to prove that these men breached their duty of care for Julie, their daughter and sister, someone who relied so heavily upon them.

"I must pay credit to DS Davies whose commitment and diligence played such a significant part in bringing this incident to court."

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