After pleading guilty, mother, 49, will be sent to jail for killing her 24-year-old daughter with Down’s Syndrome. She starved to death slowly.

  • Debbie Leitch was 24, discovered in Blackpool, August 2019, in her house.
  • Ms. Leitch was a Down’s Syndrome sufferer and died due to neglectful severe emaciation. 
  • Elaine Clarke (49), was arrested for gross negligent manslaughter
  • Today, she admitted to the charges at Preston Crown Court. This was 10 days prior to her trial.

An admittedly disabled mother has been sentenced to jail for letting her daughter starve.  

On August 29, 2019, emergency personnel discovered the emaciated body and remains of Debbie Leitch (24).    

Ms Leitch, who had Down’s Syndrome, died from severe emaciation and neglect, and a post-mortem examination found she had an extensive scabies skin infection.

Her death led to six arrests.

Her mother Elaine Clarke, 49, was charged with gross negligent manslaughter, and admitted the charge at Preston Crown Court today.

Elaine Clarke, 49, was charged with gross negligent manslaughter, and admitted the charge at Preston Crown Court today

The emaciated body of Debbie Leitch, 24, was discovered inside a house in Blackpool, Lancashire, by emergency services on August 29, 2019

Elaine Clarke (left) was indicted for gross negligent murder and she was convicted at Preston Crown Court. Debbie Leitch’s emaciated body was found in a Blackpool house by emergency personnel on August 29, 2019.

She had previously pleaded not guilty to killing her vulnerable daughter, but changed her plea just 10 days before the case was due to go to trial. 

Clarke was placed in custody before she received her sentence on February 7. 

Robert Bruce (45), her ex-partner from Leeds in West Yorkshire was initially charged with permitting or causing death of vulnerable adults. However, this charge was dropped later.

Clarke was told by Judge Amanda Justice Yip: “You know the unavoidable outcome of you going to prison. I believe the time is right that I am going remanding you to prison in order to ensure that you arrive on time for the next occasion.

She said that a verdict of not guilty was entered for Mr Bruce and (he will) be released.