A Didcot solicitor who specialised in fighting for elderly clients but let her own mother die covered in urine and faeces has been jailed.
Emma-Jane Kurtz, 41, of Blackwater Way, neglected her mum who was ‘left to rot’ under her care.
Cecily Kurtz, 79, who had depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, was found emaciated and slumped on a sofa in the same clothes she had worn for a decade in July 2014.
Her daughter, who suffers from mild autism, denied wilful neglect but was found guilty after a trial at Oxford Crown Court which ended on March 27.
Kurtz, who specialised in caring for elderly clients, claimed her mum was ‘the most important person’ in her life and she would never have intentionally neglected her.
She said she failed to force medical and psychiatric help on her because she pleaded with her not to.
Sentencing Kurtz to two-and-a-half years in prison on Friday, Judge Peter Ross said Mrs Kurtz had been ‘left to rot’. He said the pictures from the post-mortem examination of Mrs Kurtz “looked like a photo from a concentration camp”.
The court heard when paramedics lifted Mrs Kurtz’s body, her trousers began to disintegrate, her white underwear was a ‘dark mahogany brown’, and excrement and urine had ‘engrained’ into her hands, feet and face. She weighed 39kg (6st 2lb).
Kirsty Allman, senior prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, described Mrs Kurtz’s death as a ‘sad case’.
She said the pensioner had ‘suffered unimaginably’ before dying in the ‘most undignified manner’ in ‘horrifically squalid conditions’.
She added: “It is rare to come across a case that involves such sheer and blatant neglect against a vulnerable, elderly woman, by someone who was supposed to love and care for her.
“This has been one of the most shocking and sickening cases of neglect I have come across.”
After sentencing, investigating officer Detective Constable Francesca Griffin said Mrs Kurtz’s death was ‘deeply tragic, yet avoidable’.
She also said Kurtz had gone into the room with her mother in three or four times a day, adding: “There had been many opportunities over months and years to help her and remove her from that situation.”
Officers launched an investigation after medical crews were concerned about the condition of the property and of Mrs Kurtz.
Mrs Kurtz’s husband, Alan, would have faced charges over his wife’s death but the matter was not pursued due to extensive medical problems.