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Mum confesses to killing daughter with Down’s Syndrome after horrific neglect


A mum has admitted to killing her daughter, aged 24, with Down’s Syndrome after she was found starved to death and infected with scabies.

Elaine Clarke, aged 49, appeared in court on January 21 where she pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of her daughter Debbie Leitch.

Ms Clarke, from Blackpool, had earlier been charged with gross negligence manslaughter at Preston Crown Court, as reported by Lancs Live.

Police found the body of Ms Leitch when they were called by an ambulance team to an address on the evening of August 29, 2019.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as severe emaciation and neglect with an extensive scabies skin infection.

A statement issued on behalf of Ms Leitch’s family previously described her as a ‘wonderful girl’ who was ‘always happy, and always friendly’.



Exterior of Preston Crown Court
Exterior of Preston Crown Court

A second defendant, Robert Bruce, was charged with causing or allowing the death of Ms Leitch.

The charges against him were later dropped.

Clarke was due to stand trial on Monday, January 31 however she admitted her responsibility ten days before she was due to face the charges before a jury.

Mrs Justice Yip remanded Clarke in custody and warned a lengthy prison sentence is inevitable when she returns to court to be sentenced on February 7.

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