Blackpool mum denies killing her daughter with Down’s Syndrome

Debbie Leitch was found dead in August 2019, with a post-mortem giving cause of death as severe emaciation and neglect with extensive scabies skin infection

Deborah LeitchDeborah Leitch

A Blackpool mum has denied killing her 24-year-old daughter with Down’s Syndrome after she was found starved to death and infected with scabies.

Elaine Clarke, 49, appeared at Preston Crown Court today (May 19) where she entered a not guilty plea to the unlawful killing of Debbie Leitch in Blackpool.

Ms Clarke had earlier been charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

A trial date of January 31, 2022 was fixed with an estimated length of up to four weeks.

A pre-trial review will take place later this year on November 19.

The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Robert Altham, extended unconditional bail for Clarke, of Garden Terrace, Blackpool.

Bail was also extended for Bruce, of Windsor Crescent, Rothwell, Leeds.

A statement issued on behalf of Ms Leitch’s family previously described her as a ‘wonderful girl’ who was ‘always happy, and always friendly’.