Extreme hoarder who left immobile sister to die on bedroom floor jailed

The brother of an immobile and vulnerable woman who died in “horrific and filthy conditions” has been jailed for three years for gross negligence manslaughter.

Philip Burdett, 59, was “utterly out of his depth” when the health of his sister, Julie Burdett, 61, deteriorated in January 2019 after many years of her suffering from numerous chronic and complex medical conditions.

Ms Burdett, described as “friendly, articulate and clever”, was found by paramedics on the floor of her bedroom in Oakside Crescent, Leicester, covered in her own faeces, urine and vomit.

She weighed just 4st 10lb at the time of her death and had suffered the most extensive pressure sores an expert with more than 40 years of experience in nursing had ever seen, Leicester Crown Court heard.

Her father Ralph Burdett, 93, was acquitted of manslaughter but convicted of the lesser offence of allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.

The retired electrician walked free from court on Thursday after he was handed a two-year custodial term, suspended for the same period.

Ralph Burdett told the trial he had no idea his daughter was dying and did not seek outside help because he ‘didn’t want to go against her wishes’

He told the trial he had no idea his daughter was dying and did not seek outside help because he “didn’t want to go against her wishes”.

Prosecutors alleged the defendants, described in court as “extreme” hoarders, left the vulnerable woman to suffer “dreadful” injuries “surrounded by filth and squalor” in a bedroom for about two weeks in January 2019, before she died of extreme ulcerations.

Julie was described in court as intelligent and articulate but she had developed a disease similar to multiple sclerosis by 1998, leaving her needing a wheelchair when she left the house.

The defendants, of Oakside Crescent, Leicester, were both sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Thursday.

Opening the case against the father and son in March, prosecutor Timothy Cray QC told the jury: “Parts of the evidence, at least at the start, are shocking and I’m afraid they might cause you feelings of disgust and even revulsion.

“The failures of care were basic.

“They did not move Julie, they did not clean her, they did not feed her properly and they did not call for medical or other help.

“Ultimately, the result of their neglect was that Julie died.

“She died, I’m afraid, from dreadful injuries and surrounded by filth and squalor, in the home she shared with the defendants, her own father and her own brother.

“On the face of it, Julie could have been saved by something as simple as one phone call to any of the medical professionals who had been caring for her for years, or to neighbours who were willing to help, saying that Julie was in serious decline and that they were struggling to cope.”

Additional reporting by Press Association


Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.