Father who denies manslaughter tells court he could have done more for obese daughter

The father of an obese teenager found dead at home has told a court he let his daughter down because he was lazy.

Disabled 16-year-old Kaylea Titford (pictured) weighed 22 stone and 13 lbs, with a body mass index of 70, when she died in October 2020 at her home in Newtown, Powys, Wales, where she was found lying in soiled clothing and bed linen.

Being cross-examined at Mold Crown Court on Wednesday, her father Alun Titford accepted he breached his duty as a parent and did not keep her clean, make sure she was moving around, keep her bedroom clean or get her medical attention when she needed it.

Caroline Rees KC, prosecuting, said: “Why did you let your daughter down so badly?”

Titford, 45, replied: “I’m lazy.”

Asked if he “just couldn’t be bothered”, the removals worker replied: “Yeah, that’s right.”

He accepted he failed as much as Kaylea’s mother Sarah Lloyd-Jones, who has pleaded guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence.

Ms Rees said: “You’re as much to blame for Kaylea’s death as Sarah Lloyd-Jones is?”

Titford replied: “Yeah.”

The father-of-six told the court the family had takeaways four or five times a week.

Asked how mindful of Kaylea’s weight he was when ordering takeaways, he said: “I didn’t think about it.”

He accepted the teenager, who used a wheelchair, put on two or three stone during lockdown.

But he claimed Kaylea was not bed bound and he had seen her using her wheelchair in the house, although the court heard in police interviews he said he had not seen her use her wheelchair since lockdown in March 2020.

He said he did not know about bottles of urine found on the floor in Kaylea’s bedroom.

Asked what effort he made to keep her room clean, he said: “I didn’t make no effort.”

Titford told the court he would take his daughter, who had spina bifida, to medical appointments and help with her care but as she got older he became less involved.

He said: “I stepped back. I didn’t do as much for her.

“She was getting older and I just didn’t feel comfortable.”

He said Kaylea was looked after by Lloyd-Jones, who also worked as a carer.

He told the court: “I thought she was caring for her.”

The court heard night before her death he messaged his daughter just after 10.30pm and said: “If you have a bad chest stop screaming.”

He told the court Kaylea had a cold and he thought one of her siblings was in her room when she did not want them there.

He said he could not hear what was being said but could hear Kaylea screaming.

The next morning, he said, he was woken by Lloyd-Jones who was crying and told him Kaylea was dead so he went to check her.

He said: “I just touched her and I could tell.”

Titford, of Colwyn, Newtown, denies manslaughter by gross negligence and an alternative count of causing or allowing the death of a child.

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