Alun Titford and Sarah Lloyd-Jones, who were convicted of the gross negligence manslaughter of their morbidly obese daughter Kaylea Titford, have had their jail sentences increased at the Court of Appeal to 10 years and eight years respectively. Kaylea, 16, was found in conditions described as “unfit for any animal”, in soiled clothing and bed linen, after her death at the family home in Newtown, Powys, in October 2020.
Court of Appeal judges said the circumstances leading to Kaylea’s death “can only be categorised as extreme”.
Lloyd-Jones, 40, was originally jailed for six years, while Titford, 45, was previously told he would spend seven and a half years behind bars.
William Emlyn Jones KC, representing the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), said: “By virtue of the combination of the duration of the neglect, the nature of the victim’s prolonged suffering, the extent of the victim’s vulnerability and absolute dependence on her parents for care, and ultimately, the appalling conditions in which she was left to live and ultimately die, this is an offence which falls into the definition of ‘extreme’.”
Lloyd-Jones watched by videolink from prison, but Titford was not present as their sentences were increased to eight years and 10 years respectively by Lord Justice Popplewell, sitting with Mrs Justice McGowan and His Honour Judge Bate.
Lord Justice Popplewell said: “The circumstances can only be categorised as extreme, Kaylea was living in unimaginable squalor.”
Titford, who had denied manslaughter by gross negligence, told jurors during his trial he had let his daughter down so badly because he was “lazy”, leaving his partner to look after her.
Care worker Lloyd-Jones, who had six children with Titford, had previously admitted the same charge.
She sent messages to her husband begging for help, telling him in one: “I’m absolutely exhausted, I can’t cope working and doing everything… all I’ve done is cry all day. I need you to help me.”
Swansea Crown Court heard during Titford’s trial that the teenager weighed 22st 13lb, with a BMI of 70, at the time of her death in October 2020.
Kaylea, who had spina bifida and used a wheelchair, died after suffering inflammation and infection from ulceration, arising from obesity and immobility.
In her last hours, as she lay screaming in bed, her father texted her twice telling her to stop, but he did not go and see his daughter.
Kaylea had also sent a series of text messages to her mother pleading for help to clean the weeping sores on her legs and get rid of the flies landing on her, Lloyd-Jones replied: “For f*** sake.”
Emergency service workers who were called to the house after she was found dead, described feeling sick due to a “rotting” smell in her room, while maggots were feeding on her body.
The teenager’s specially adapted room was dirty and cluttered, with bottles of urine near her bed and dog faeces in the ensuite bathroom.
The family would live off takeaways four or five nights a week and had spent more than £1,000 on meals in the months leading up to her death.
Lewis Power KC, representing Lloyd-Jones, said she became “overwhelmed” during the Covid lockdown.
David Elias KC, representing Titford, said the removals worker worked 50 hours a week and claimed the family had been let down by the authorities – with Kaylea last been seen by a social worker at home in 2017.
Passing sentence last month, Mr Justice Griffiths said the pair had committed “shocking and prolonged neglect over lockdown” but rejected the claim the family had been ignored by the authorities.
“By the end, they were not accessing or accepting any significant help at all for Kaylea,” he said.
“But this was not for reasons beyond their control. It was part of their gross negligence towards the wellbeing of their daughter.”
He said both were equally to blame for the appalling living conditions their daughter found herself.