Mother of Drug Overdose Girl Found Guilty of Manslaughter

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), April 18, 2008 | Go to article overview

Mother of Drug Overdose Girl Found Guilty of Manslaughter


Byline: Robin Turner

A MOTHER has been found guilty of the manslaughter of her 16-year-old daughter, by failing to call an ambulance when the teenager collapsed from a heroin overdose.

Carly Town send died at her mother Andrea Townsend's home in Pwll, Llanelli, last May.

It was alleged she watched soaps like Emmerdale on TV instead of getting help for her daughter.

Yesterday afternoon a Swansea Crown Court jury found 45-year-old Townsend, who had denied manslaughter due to neglect, guilty by a unanimous verdict.

The jury will continue its deliberations this morning on Townsend's co-defendant, her daughter and Carly's sister Gemma Evans, 26, who also denies manslaughter through neglect.

The jury heard Gemma Evans, a mother of two, was also in the family home at Bassett Terrace, Pwll, when Carly died on May 2 last year.

Townsend said her daughter's lips had turned blue though she said this only happened for a few seconds before the colour came back.

Giving evidence during the case, Townsend said of Carly's collapsed state: "I'd seen her ten times worse".

She told the jury her daughter was "mumbling" and took this as a sign she would not be in danger.

And Townsend claimed even though she was downstairs watching TV when her collapsed daughter had been placed on a bed upstairs, she "listened" on a number of occasions from the living room door.

She said she heard her daughter snoring "as she usually did" and this reassured her.

Paul Thomas QC, prosecuting, claimed she did not want to call an ambulance in case she or Carly got into trouble.

Townsend showed no emotion yesterday as the jury delivered its guilty verdict, but she and Evans held hands in the dock. …

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