Elderly woman 'abandoned' on couch

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 14:28 23/05/2013

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An elderly woman is alleged to have been left on a couch for at least three years, in one of the worst cases of elder abuse police have seen.

Her daughter has been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life.

The 50-year-old accused had been the sole caregiver for her mother for about five years.

Ambulance crews found the 80-year-old woman on a couch tied to footstool when they were called to a Napier house in December 2011.

The seriously ill woman, with abscesses on her leg, was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital where she died some weeks later.

Police began investigating the case after hospital staff raised concerns.

Napier Detective John McGregor believed the woman had been neglected for some time and had not received proper medical treatment.

When interviewed by police, the elderly woman said she had not left the couch for at least three years.

McGregor believed it was the worst case of neglect he had seen.

''This is an unusual case, during my investigation I could not find anything similar to it.''

The accused was charged late last year. She appeared in Napier District Court this week but is yet to enter a plea to the charge.

Judge Bridget Mackintosh ordered a report under s38 of the Criminal Procedure Act to determine if she is fit to plea.

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- The Dominion Post

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