Mum charged with killing Down’s Syndrome daughter found ’emaciated’ at home

A woman has appeared in court charged with killing her daughter.

Deborah Leitch, who had Down's Syndrome, was found dead at her home in September 2019. A post mortem examination found that the 24-year-old had died from severe emaciation and neglect, and was also suffering from a severe case of skin infection scabies.

Police found Ms Leitch’s body when they were called by the ambulance service to an address in Garden Terrace, in Blackpool’s South Shore district, on the evening of August 29, 2019.

Her mother, Elaine Clarke, has been arrested on a charge of gross negligence manslaughter.

Robert John Bruce, who was reportedly Clarke’s partner at the time of Ms Leitch's death, is accused of allowing or causing the death of a vulnerable adult

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A statement issued on behalf of Ms Leitch's family describes Deborah Leitch, who was known to friends and family as Debbie, as a "wonderful girl" who was "always happy, and always friendly".

Clarke, 48, and Bruce, 45, were sent for a trial at Preston Crown Court and are expected to appear on May 19.

Four other suspects in the investigation were released without charge, Lancashire Police said.

A Lancashire Police spokesperson told reporters: "Police were called by the ambulance service around 10.40pm on August 29th, 2019 to a report paramedics were attending an address on Garden Terrace.

"Officers attended and sadly found the body of a 24-year-old Deborah Leitch, known as Debbie, deceased inside the address.

"A total of six people were interviewed as suspects in connection with the inquiry and following a thorough police investigation and after consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service two people have been summonsed to appear at court."

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