A man has been found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following the death of his sister in 2019.
Cecil Burdett, 92 and Philip Burdett, 59, stood trial at Leicester Crown Court charged with gross negligence manslaughter and causing/allowing the death of a vulnerable person in connection with the death of their daughter and sister Julie Burdett.
A jury has today (Friday 29 April) found Philip guilty of gross negligence manslaughter and Cecil guilty of causing/allowing the death of a vulnerable person. The jury found Cecil not guilty of the manslaughter charge.The causing/allowing the death of a vulnerable person charge against Philip has been discontinued.
Paramedics were called to the family home in Oakside Crescent, Leicester on the afternoon of Tuesday 15 January 2019 by Cecil to a report that Julie, who was 61-years-old, had passed away.
When paramedics arrived at the address, Julie was found deceased and in an extremely poor condition so police were called by East Midlands Ambulance Service to attend.
An investigation was started which found that Julie had numerous serious health issues including multiple sclerosis and rarely left the house. Philip was Julie’s main carer while Cecil also helped with her daily care.
Further enquiries found that Julie’s health began to decline in early December 2018 after suffering a fall. Both men told police that in the weeks after Julie gradually stopped eating and drinking and due to her mobility issues, she spent the last two weeks of her life laying on her bedroom floor unable to get up.
A post-mortem examination later confirmed that she died as a result of infection. At the time of her death, she weighed four and a half stone with several large bedsores on her body which had become infected and exposed her bones.
Following a full and thorough investigation, Cecil and Philip were charged in April 2021.
Detective Sergeant Adrian Davies, who was the investigating officer, said: “Our investigation concluded that both men were capable of recognising the decline in Julie’s health and failed in their duty of care to seek help for her.
“It was obvious that Julie’s condition was deteriorating and both men failed to seek any help until after she died, ultimately when it was too late. They failed Julie when she needed them most, a failure which contributed to what can only be described as very prolonged and painful death.”
Superintendent Chris Baker, who oversaw the investigation, said: “This is certainly one of the most distressing and difficult cases I have worked on in my time in policing.
“It has resulted in a long and complex investigation to allow us to prove that these men breached their duty of care for Julie, their daughter and sister, someone who relied so heavily upon them.
“I must pay credit to DS Davies whose commitment and diligence played such a significant part in bringing this incident to court.”