Kaylea Titford: Parents' prison sentences increased over obese daughter's manslaughter

Kaylea Titford  (PA Media)
Kaylea Titford (PA Media)

A mother and father who were jailed for leaving their morbidly obese daughter in squalor before her death have had their jail sentences increased.

Kaylea Titford, 16, who suffered from spina bifida, was found dead at her home in Newtown, Powys, in October 2020 in conditions described as “unfit for any animal”.

Her mother Sarah Lloyd-Jones, 39, admitted manslaughter by gross negligence last year, while her father, Alun Titford, denied the charges and was found guilty after a trial last month.

Alun Titford and Sarah Lloyd-Jones (Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police/PA) (PA Media)
Alun Titford and Sarah Lloyd-Jones (Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police/PA) (PA Media)

Mr Titford was sentenced to seven and a half years, while Lloyd-Jones was given a reduced sentence of six years in recognition of her guilty plea.

The pair had their jail sentences increased at the Court of Appeal on Friday to 10 and eight years respectively.

Kaylea died after suffering inflammation and infection from ulcerations caused by obesity and immobility. She weighed 22 stone at the time of her death.

Lawyers representing the Attorney General’s office (AGO) argued that Titford and Lloyd-Jones’s sentences were “unduly lenient” and called for them to be increased.

The bedroom of Kaylea Titford (PA Media)
The bedroom of Kaylea Titford (PA Media)

William Emlyn Jones KC, representing the AGO, said the offence fell “into the definition of ‘extreme’”.

“By virtue of the combination of the duration of the neglect, the nature of the victim’s prolonged suffering, the extent of the victim’s vulnerability and absolute dependence on her parents for care, and ultimately, the appalling conditions in which she was left to live and ultimately die, this is an offence which falls into the definition of ‘extreme’,” he said.

The sentences were increased by Lord Justice Popplewell, who said Kaylea had been “living in unimaginable squalor”.

In her last hours, as she lay screaming in bed, her father texted her twice telling her to stop but did not go and see her.

Kaylea had also sent a series of text messages to her mother pleading for help to clean the weeping sores on her legs and get rid of the flies landing on her. Lloyd-Jones replied: “For f*** sake.”

Emergency service workers, who were called to the house after she was found dead, described feeling sick due to a “rotting” smell in her room, while maggots were feeding on her body.

The teenager’s specially adapted room was dirty and cluttered, with bottles of urine near her bed and dog faeces in the ensuite bathroom.

The family would live off takeaways four or five nights a week and had spent more than £1,000 on meals in the months leading up to her death.

Solicitor General Michael Tomlinson KC said after Friday’s hearing: “This was a deeply distressing and upsetting case, and my thoughts today are with all of those who loved Kaylea.

“Kaylea was subjected to horrific neglect by her parents and the court’s decision to extend Alun Titford and Sarah Lloyd Jones’ sentences sends a clear message that child abuse will never be tolerated.”