An Australian Federal Police employee and his brother have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges that stemmed from the shocking death of their mother.
Shirley Thompson, 73, was admitted to the Blacktown Hospital in western Sydney in a severely malnourished and dehydrated state and then died a week later in the Palliative Care Unit in September 2017.
Yesterday, the court heard audio of an emergency call that was placed by Phillip James Thompson and his brother David, where the pair claimed that their mother was “poisoned from this wound she has.”
A paramedic who arrived at the house found Shirley Thompson lying naked in her bedroom with her body covered in urine and fecal matter with an extremely large and open pressure wound.
It is believed that Ms. Thompson had been in her bedroom for at least 10 days prior to receiving medical assistance, and paramedic Megan Kuhner told the court that the home was extremely dirty, and it was hard to ascertain where the victim’s large wound started and ended.
An emergency nurse noted the poor hygiene of Ms. Thompson upon her arrival at the hospital, describing a wound on her backside that was so deep that the nurse believed that she could have put her fist inside it.
Prosecutor Jeff Tunks told the judge that the death of Ms. Thompson’s husband which occurred five years prior to her death left her “isolated from the outside world” and dependant on her son’s Phillip and David for nutrition, mobility, and hygiene.
Ms. Thompson developed blood poisoning from her untreated wounds, but David Thompson’s barrister, Tony Evers, placed the blame on Ms. Thompson herself and pointed to a history of refusing medical care.
“We say Shirley Thompson died not because of choices made by David Thompson but choices she herself made,” said Mr. Evers.
Despite these claims, Prosecutor Jeff Tunks highlighted the fact that Phillip and David Thompson would have noticed their mother’s need for medical attention months before they contacted emergency services.
In a court hearing that was held in May last year, paramedics told those in attendance that Ms. Thompson couldn’t recall the last time she had a shower while riding in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
The paramedic also asked Ms. Thompson ‘Does your son clean your bed? Does he give you a cloth?’ to which the victim replied, ‘He just gives me a cloth and asks me to do it myself.’
Ms. Thompson told those at the hospital that she also believed that she hadn’t eaten in at least 10 days prior to the paramedic’s arrival, but a medical report claims that it is likely she had very limited fluid/food intake for a two or three week period.
The trial continues.
Photo Courtesy of ABC