Woman 'fused to couch' in daughter's care

Doctors called to a Napier house found an elderly woman fused to a couch with maggots crawling in her rotting wounds, a court has heard.

The woman's 51-year-old daughter, and sole caregiver, has gone on trial today at the Napier District Court after pleading not guilty to failing to provide the necessities of life for her mother.

Medical staff and paramedics found the 82-year-old woman on November 15, 2011 in an "unkept, unclean and medically risky environment".

They discovered the woman had grown into the couch she was lying on and the blanket covering her wounds.

Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said the elderly woman was "someone who required care" and was "owed the necessities of life".

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

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

Essentially "bound" to the couch, 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, Mr Manning said.

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

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

The daughter has been granted name suppression. Her judge-only trial continues today.

- Sam Hurley of Hawke's Bay Today

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