Maggots found in elderly Napier woman's wounds

By Sam Hurley -

Maggots were found crawling in the rotting wounds of an elderly Napier woman when a doctor found her fused to a couch in a dark and smelly room, a court has heard.

A local doctor and paramedics discovered the 82-year-old woman had grown into the couch she was lying on and the blanket covering her wounds.

The woman's 51-year-old daughter, her sole caregiver, is on trial at Napier District Court. She has pleaded not guilty to the charge of failing to provide the necessities of life for her mother.

She has been granted name suppression. Her judge-only trial continues today.
Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said the woman was "someone who required care" and was "owed the necessities of life".

He said medical staff and paramedics found her on November 15, 2011 in an "unkept, unclean and medically risky environment."

He said the daughter had "endangered the life of her mother", who also had heart disease and diabetes.

"A blue stain was on her face which appeared to have come from the fabric on the couch," he said.

Essentially "bound" to the couch Mr Manning said the woman had a severely ulcerated and swollen leg, covered in rotten skin, dried excrement and maggots, "imbedded" in the blanket covering her and the couch.

The mother died some six weeks after being admitted to hospital.

The accused's lawyer Matt Dixon said there was no evidence the woman was dehydrated nor malnourished.

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