Blackpool mother admits killing daughter, 24, who had Down's syndrome

24 January 2022, 23:49 | Updated: 29 January 2022, 12:44

Debbie Leitch's mother pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Debbie Leitch's mother pleaded guilty to manslaughter. . Picture: Lancashire Police

By Emma Soteriou

A mother has admitted to the manslaughter of her 24-year-old daughter who had Down's syndrome.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Elaine Clarke, 49, initially pleaded not guilty to the unlawful killing of her daughter, Debbie Leitch.

Ms Leitch's body was found by police when they were called to an address in Blackpool on 29 August 2019.

However, at a later hearing, Clarke changed her plea to guilty, a spokeswoman for Preston Crown Court said.

A post-mortem examination gave Ms Leitch's cause of death as severe emaciation and neglect with extensive scabies skin infection.

A statement issued on behalf of her family described her as a "wonderful girl" who was "always happy, and always friendly".

The Preston Crown Court spokeswoman said at a hearing on Friday that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided to offer no evidence in respect of her co-defendant Robert Bruce.

Bruce was charged with causing or allowing the death of Ms Leitch, a vulnerable adult, while he was a member of the same household between January and August 2019.

Clarke was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on February 7.