A Napier woman is facing a charge of failing to provide the necessaries of life to her elderly mother, who was found fused to her furniture and a blanket after apparently being confined to a couch for at least three years.

Details have emerged after the latest court appearance of the woman, aged in her 50s.

She has yet to plead to the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years' jail.

Ambulance crews were shocked when they were called by the daughter to a Napier house in December 2011 and discovered the elderly woman on the couch, her leg fixed to a footstool as maggots dropped to the floor, police say.


The victim turned 81 soon afterwards, but it was her last birthday. She died, still in hospital, several weeks later.

Detective John McGregor of Napier police said a lengthy investigation followed and the woman was charged late last year, during which police learned the elderly woman had probably been on the couch for about three years.

It was understood a saline solution was used to free her from the furniture and a blanket.

The younger woman appeared before Judge Bridget Mackintosh in Napier District Court on Tuesday and was remanded to reappear next month.

It's understood the court will consider whether she is fit to plea to the charge, and reports will be sought under s38 of the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act.