Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight woman Hazel Kimber 'died of starvation'

Rubbish and sanitary towels in an upstairs bedroom Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption The house where Mrs Kimber was found had mouldy walls and foliage growing through the windows

An 83-year-old mother found dead at a house probably died of starvation and immobility, a court has heard.

Hazel Kimber was found by paramedics "moulded" to her armchair in Seaview, Isle of Wight, in 2015.

Her son, Anthony Kimber, who lived with her, denies manslaughter by gross negligence and causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.

His trial was told she had not received medical help for five years.

Mrs Kimber weighed six stone when she died on 31 August, Winchester Crown Court was told.

'Curved spine'

The room where she had been sitting for two years had mouldy walls, foliage growing through the window and an "awful" smell of faeces and urine, jurors heard.

Pathologist Amanda Jeffery said Mrs Kimber had an ulcer which had penetrated her jawbone, and she had a "dramatic curvature" of the spine.

The cause of death was a combination of blood clots in the lungs and severe ketoacidosis, a toxic effect of poor food intake, she said.

Under cross-examination, the pathologist said it was surprising Mrs Kimber had no sores consistent with urinating in her chair.

William Mousley QC, defending, said the absence of such sores "supported a description of regular toileting" and efforts to keep her clean.

Ms Jeffery added it was not clear when the blood clots had formed and whether treatment at a late stage would have worked.

Image copyright Solent News and Photo Agency
Image caption Mr Kimber told police he was carrying out his mother's wishes not to contact a doctor

Jurors heard paramedics found the pensioner's body after Mr Kimber, her full-time carer, dialled the NHS 111 non-emergency number.

PC Richard Taylor, who attended, said the smell inside the house in Ryde Road made him feel sick but Mr Kimber's bedroom "was cleaner than the rest of the house".

He said Mrs Kimber's body was "emaciated, skeletal, like a scene from a film".

Help bid 'failed'

Another officer, Sgt Janet Fletcher said: "The chair had moulded around her."

Mrs Kimber's cousin, Jean Molyneaux, said she had twice asked a local medical centre to help the pair, without success.

"A nurse said if they needed help they would ask for it," she said.

Mr Kimber respected his mother's refusal to see doctors, his defence barrister previously said.

Prosecutors said he failed to take action as she was "rotting away and dying before his eyes".

The trial continues.

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