Pair charged with killing woman with Down's syndrome by neglect after she was found starved to death


Pair are charged with killing woman, 24, with Down’s syndrome by neglect after she was found starved to death with horrendous scabies infection

  • Deborah Leitch had Down’s Syndrome and was found dead at house in Blackpool
  • Post mortem examination gave cause of death as severe emaciation and neglect
  • Six people were arrested in connection to 24-year-old’s death in August last year
  • Elaine Clarke, of Blackpool, and Robert Bruce, from Leeds, will appear in court 

Two people have been charged over the death of a woman with Down’s syndrome after she was found emaciated with multiple scabies infections on her skin.

Police were called by the ambulance service after Deborah Leitch, 24, who had Down’s syndrome, was found dead at a house in South Shore, Blackpool on August 29.

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

Deborah Leitch, 24, (pictured) who had Down's syndrome, was found emaciated with a severe skin infection at a home in Blackpool sparking a police investigation in August last year

Deborah Leitch, 24, (pictured) who had Down’s syndrome, was found emaciated with a severe skin infection at a home in Blackpool sparking a police investigation in August last year

Lancashire Police arrested six people in connection with Deborah’s death and said today two people had summonsed to appear at court.

Elaine Clarke, 48, of Garden Terrace, Blackpool has been summonsed to answer the charge of gross negligence manslaughter.

Robert Bruce, 45, of Windsor Crescent, Leeds, has been summonsed for the offence of allowing or causing the death of a vulnerable adult.

Police officers were called to the home in South Shore, Blackpool, where Deborah was found. Lancashire police have since charged two people in connection with the 24-year-old's death

Police officers were called to the home in South Shore, Blackpool, where Deborah was found. Lancashire police have since charged two people in connection with the 24-year-old’s death

Both are due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on April 20.

The other four people were released without charge.

A statement issued on behalf of her family described Deborah, known as Debbie, as a ‘wonderful girl’ who was ‘always happy, and always friendly’.

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