Liverpool

Toxteth woman died after being left in filth

Richard Wallach's home Image copyright Crown Prosecution Service
Image caption Paramedics and firefighters had to wear protective clothing to rescue Valerie Wallach

A 67-year-old man who left his wife covered in filth, flies and maggots has been jailed for eight years.

Valerie Wallach, 61, died after being taken to hospital in August 2017 with pressure sores and sepsis.

Paramedics had to wear protective clothing to rescue Mrs Wallach from her home in Toxteth, Liverpool.

Her husband Richard Wallach, 67, was previously found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court of gross negligence manslaughter.

A domestic homicide review will be carried out into Mrs Wallach's death, a spokesman for Liverpool City Council has confirmed.

'Horrendous' odour

The mother-of-two was rescued after Wallach alerted the Elms Medical Centre on 24 August 2017, as she was "babbling".

The court heard how paramedics found Mrs Wallach sitting in a chair at their home on Gwendoline Street, covered in urine, faeces and flies.

The odour in the house was described as "horrendous" by the emergency services.

Image copyright Lynda Roughley
Image caption Richard Wallach was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter

Mrs Wallach, who was unable to speak due to tooth decay, only responded when she was removed from the chair and screamed in pain.

When told his wife was likely to die soon, Wallach replied: "Thanks for letting me know but who is going to sort out my problem? I've been constipated for weeks."

Mrs Wallach died on 12 September 2017 from advanced breast cancer, which was diagnosed on her admission to hospital, and multiple organ failure.

Image copyright Crown Prosecution Service
Image caption Firefighters and paramedics had to fight their way through piles of rubbish

During the trial, Wallach told jurors he looked after her to the best of his ability.

Kenneth Grant, defending, said Wallach is a "senior citizen who lived a quiet, unassuming, uneventful, blameless life".

"He is now held criminally responsible for the death of his wife. If ever there was a sad, deeply depressing case this surely is it."

Judge Flewitt told Wallach the neglect of his wife "led to her living the last few months of her life in appalling conditions".

He described him as a "thoroughly selfish man".

"In this instance your selfishness led directly to the death of your wife," said Judge Flewitt.

Image copyright Crown Prosecution Service
Image caption The Crown Prosecution Service described it as a "shocking and disturbing" case

A Liverpool City Council spokesperson said it was "a dreadful case of neglect" and "prior to this unfortunate incident adult services did not have any involvement with Mr and Mrs Wallach".

A review will also be carried out by the Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board.

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