Kaylea Titford: Father Alun Titford guilty of manslaughter in 'harrowing' case of daughter's death

The father of Kaylea Titford, a vulnerable teenager who died after becoming morbidly obese, has been found guilty of manslaughter.

The teenager, who was disabled, was found dead in her home in October 2020.

She was found to be living in filthy conditions that were "unfit for any animal" surrounded by clutter and urine bottles. She was bedridden at the time of her death.

Asked during his evidence why he had let his daughter down so badly, the removals worker said: “I’m lazy.”

Mr Titford denied all of the charges against him - but on Tuesday, jurors decided not to believe him.

The prosecution say Alun Titford has refused to face up to the full extent of his responsibilities for her death

The 45-year-old from Newtown had denied the allegations against him claiming his partner and the mother of Kaylea Titford was her main carer. He admitted he was "lazy" and could have done more but claimed he did not know how Kaylea was being cared for.

  • Alun Titford leaves court after being found guilty

His partner and Kaylea Titford's mother, Sarah Lloyd Jones, has previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her daughter by gross negligence and is awaiting sentencing.

The teenager, who weighed nearly 23 stone and had a BMI of 70 at the time of her death, needed a wheelchair to get around.

Once the covid lockdown began in March, she was unable to attend her school at Newtown High and spent months bed bound.

The teenager was described in court as "fiercely independent" Credit: Dyfed Powys Police

Teachers had tried to get the once promising wheelchair basketball player back into school once the rules allowed, but they were met with excuses, the court heard.

The prosecution alleged that Kaylea had not used her wheelchair, which became too small for her, since the start of lockdown.

The family had no help from outside organisations and had seen no social worker since 2017.

The court heard how Kaylea was kept on soiled sheets in a dirty, cluttered bedroom and had ulcers, sores and blisters on her legs.

Emergency service workers described "retching" at the smell in her room when they responded to the 999 call.

Maggots were found which were thought to have been feeding on her body, the court heard.

Sarah Lloyd Jones will be sentenced alongside Alun Titford on 1 March Credit: Andrew Price

Titford claimed his partner, who was a community care worker, was responsible for looking after Kaylea and he did not feel "comfortable" caring for her when she reached puberty.

In cross-examination he did accept he was as much to blame for Kaylea’s death as her mother.

In a statement read out after the verdict was announced, Senior Investigating Officer Jonathan Rees said, “The conditions in which Kaylea was found were abhorrent and indicated shocking neglect over a prolonged period of time - both environmentally and physically.”

He added: “The circumstances of Kaylea’s death are tragic. This investigation has been extensive and at times harrowing given Kaylea’s age and the conditions in which she was living.”

“The officers who have been involved in this investigation and also those officers who were involved at the very outset of the investigation really will not be able to put this experience out of their minds - a real impact will have been made on those officers.”

A spokesman for Powys County Council said: “Following the conclusion of court proceedings, a concise child practice review is to be carried out and will involve all relevant agencies following a clear statutory framework.

“The local authority does not feel able to comment until this process has been completed.”

The NSPCC described Kaylea's case as "incredibly distressing" Credit: Athena Picture Agency

A spokesperson for NSPCC Cymru described the case of "incredibly distressing".

"No child should be subjected to the horrific treatment Kaylea Titford was prior to her tragic death. The conscious, prolonged neglect by those who should have cared for her is incredibly distressing.

“Research shows that young people with disabilities are three times more at risk of abuse, and while Kaylea’s parents are to blame for her death this case shows why having effective safeguarding systems in place across our communities is crucial.

“A Child Safeguarding Practice Review must leave no stone unturned in establishing what more could have been done to protect Kaylea and, crucially, ensure that other children do not suffer such appalling neglect unnoticed.”

Judge Mr Justice Griffiths said Titford would be sentenced with his partner Sarah Lloyd-Jones on March 1 at Swansea Crown Court.

He said: “There can be no doubt this case passes the custody threshold.”

The judge told jurors he would give them a 10-year exemption from jury service, saying there had been a “lot of difficult and a lot of expert evidence”.

He added: “The subject matter was, no doubt, unusually distressing.”