Brothers Accused Of Leaving Elderly Mum To Die In Filth And Agony
By the time brother’s Phillip and David Thompson called paramedics to the western Sydney home they shared with their mother Shirley – she was days away from death.
The 72-year-old was taken to Blacktown Hospital severely dehydrated, covered in bedsores and malnourished. Despite efforts by hospital staff, she died a week later on September 2017, in the Palliative Care Unit.
After a prolonged investigation police arrested and charged her two boys – the eldest an Australian Federal Police officer at the time - with her manslaughter. They were supposed to be caring for her.
Today a court heard the triple zero call made by Phillip Thompson on the 23 August 2017. He told the operator; “She’s got a wound on her backside and I think it’s made her sick.”
The operator asked a series of questions before inquiring whether the elderly woman was in pain. So, Phillip yells out; “Are you in pain?” “Yes” Shirley responds. “Where’s the pain?” he yells once more – telling the operator it’s in her stomach. Adding I think she’s just poised from this wound she has.
When paramedics arrived, they were greeted with a grim scene. “Everything was filthy, I recall seeing the carpet and wondering if it was carpet or just dirt.” Paramedic Megan Kuhner told the court.
She began assessing the woman, who had been bedridden for weeks.
“It was very much bodily fluids… very pungent... that was very obvious when I pulled the sheets back.”
The septuagenarian had been laying in her own excrement with oozing bed sores covering her body.
Lauren Cole, the nurse who assessed Shirley on arrival at Blacktown Hospital told the court;
“She smelt disgusting her hair was in knots she hadn’t eaten for 10 days… there were a lot of bruises.”
She believed the patient's hip was broken and was horrified by a bedsore on her backside that was so large she could put her fist into it.
Both brothers deny neglecting their mother and say she died because of her own choices. Their defence team told the judge Shirley was a recluse who repeatedly refused medical help and hadn’t been to see a doctor for more than a decade.
David’s defence barrister Tony Evers told the court; “The bathroom tiles were falling off the wall, the wallpaper and paint were peeling off... despite having adequate funds to fix those things she chose not to.”
The trial continues.