Blackpool mum accused of starving disabled daughter to death appears in court

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A Blackpool mum accused of killing her disabled daughter by starving her for months has made her latest appearance in court.


Elaine Clarke, 49, previously pleaded not guilty to the unlawful killing of her daughter Debbie Leitch, who was found at their home in Garden Terrace in South Shore on August 29 2019.

Paramedics attended, and Miss Leitch was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem found that Miss Leitch, who had Down’s syndrome, died from severe emaciation and neglect with an extensive scabies skin infection.

Deborah Leitch

Deborah Leitch

Clarke appeared for a pre-trial review at Preston Crown Court this morning with co-defendant Robert Bruce, 45, of Windsor Terrace, Rothwell, who pleaded not guilty to causing or allowing the death of Ms Leitch between January 2019 and August 2019 while he was living in the house.

Following the hearing, a second pre-trial review was arranged for the pair on December 20.

The case is scheduled to go to trial on January 31 2022, and is expected to last four weeks.

An inquest into the death of Miss Leitch was opened at Blackpool town hall on November 5, however, a full inquest will not be heard until after the trial is concluded.