A man who was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following the death of his sister has been sentenced.
Philip Burdett, 59, and Cecil Burdett, 93, stood trial at Leicester Crown Court charged with gross negligence manslaughter and causing/allowing the death of a vulnerable person in connection with the death of their sister and daughter Julie Burdett.
In April, this year Philip was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter and Cecil was found guilty of causing/allowing the death of a vulnerable person. The jury found Cecil not guilty of the manslaughter charge. The causing/allowing the death of a vulnerable person charge against Philip has been discontinued.
At the same court today (Thursday, June 30), Philip was sentenced to three years in prison while Cecil was given a two year prison sentence suspended for two years.
Paramedics were called to the family home in Oakside Crescent, Leicester on the afternoon of Tuesday 15 January 2019 by Cecil, who was known as Ralph, to a report that Julie, who was 61-years-old, had passed away.
When paramedics arrived at the address, Julie was found deceased and in an extremely poor condition so police were called by East Midlands Ambulance Service to attend.
An investigation was started which found that Julie had numerous serious health issues including multiple sclerosis and rarely left the house. Philip was Julie’s main carer while Cecil also helped with her daily care.
Further enquiries found that Julie’s health began to decline in early December 2018 after suffering a fall. Both men told police that in the weeks after Julie gradually stopped eating and drinking and due to her mobility issues, she spent the last two weeks of her life laying on her bedroom floor unable to get up.
A post-mortem examination later confirmed that she died as a result of infection. At the time of her death, she weighed four and a half stone with several large bedsores on her body which had become infected and exposed her bones.
Following a full and thorough investigation, Cecil and Philip were charged in April 2021.
On sentencing, Detective Superintendent Chris Baker, who was the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “This case was a tragedy for the family. It was not about punishment, it was about upholding the rights of a person to life and dignity.
“I cannot begin to imagine the pain that Julie Burdett suffered in the last weeks of her life. No living being should endure that. The terrible events heard by the jury during the course of the trial and the convictions of Philip and Cecil Burdett serve as a reminder to us all of our legal duty to treat those we love or care for with decency, compassion and humanity. I hope that is Julie’s legacy.”
D/Supt Baker added: “I would like to pay tribute to DC Adrian Davies, the CPS and prosecuting counsel Tim Cray QC and Kathryn Arnot Drummond for their expertise and professionalism throughout the investigation and proceedings.”