Kaylea Titford: Morbidly obese teen 'had not washed for weeks' before her death, court hears

Kaylea Titford was found dead at the age of 16. Credit: Athena Picture Agency

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A 16-year-old girl who died after becoming morbidly obese had "not washed for weeks", a court has heard.

Kaylea Titford, who had spina bifida and used a wheelchair, died at her Newtown home in October 2020.

Jurors at Mold Crown Court have been told that Kaylea was living in conditions "not fit for animals", and was found lying in soiled clothing and bed linen.

Kaylea's father, Alun Titford, is on trial accused of manslaughter by gross negligence and causing or allowing her death. He denies the allegations against him.

Kaylea's mother, Sarah Lloyd Jones, has previously admitted to manslaughter through gross negligence. She is awaiting sentencing.

On Monday (January 23), the trial heard evidence from Home Office pathologist Dr Deryk James, who carried out a postmortem on Kaylea at the University Hospital of Wales shortly after her death.

Kaylea had turned sixteen just weeks before she died. Credit: Athena Picture Agency

Dr James told jurors that Kaylea was around 4ft 10 and had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 70.  Anything above 40 is classed as morbid obesity.

Caroline Rees KC, prosecuting, said: “Well into a range of morbid obesity?"

“Yes,” replied Dr James.

He continued: “This girl was grossly obese. There was no pathological reason for obesity. It was a consequence of immobility, disability and excessive intake.”

“Excessive intake of what?” asked Caroline Rees.

“Food and drink”, he replied.

Dr James told the court that Kaylea seemed to have gained an awful lot of weight in the six months prior to her death.

He said that her hair was “greasy and matted.”

Dr James said Kaylea's face appeared clean but her armpits were “almost black in colour”.

“Is that a sign of lack of washing?” asked Caroline Rees. 

“It is”, said Dr James.

He told the court Kaylea had "not had a proper wash for many weeks”.

He said the teenager, who had turned sixteen just weeks before she died, also had deep ulcers and blisters around her body.

Dr James, who has worked as a pathologist for over 30 years, said that a deep ulcer on Kaylea's right foot "must have been present for a period measured in weeks rather than days”.

Defence barrister David Elias KC said there was no challenge to the findings of the pathologist.

Alun Titford, wearing black trousers and coat, looked down at the floor as the expert witness gave his evidence.

The trial continues.