Actress jailed over mother's corpse
Published 01/07/2011 | 12:42
A television actress who left her mother's rotting corpse "wedged" behind a bedroom door so she could claim her pension money has been jailed for 11 months.
The body of Olive Maddock, 95, was left to decompose on the floor of the bedroom of her Merseyside home by daughter Olive Hazel Maddock, known as Hazel, and granddaughter Jasmine Maddock, 35.
The pair were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after Hazel Maddock, 61, pleaded guilty to unlawful prevention of burial at an earlier hearing.
Maddock, a television extra who has worked on Channel 4 dramas Brookside and Hollyoaks, also admitted fraudulently obtaining one payment of her dead mother's state pension of £176.92 and a single payment of pension credit of £34.44.
Jasmine Maddock, an artist, pleaded guilty to leaving the corpse of her grandmother unburied at the same hearing. She was given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years with supervision and was ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid community service.
Judge Gerald Clifton said the pair had entered into a "conspiracy of silence".
"What you did was a gross effrontery to the natural decent behaviour of most good people in similar positions throughout the land," he said.
He added: "Honour thy father and mother all the days they live, says the Book of Exodus. Giving burial is one of the most important of those acts of honour." Judge Clifton said that made what they had done "particularly despicable".
Anya Horwood, prosecuting, told the court that police found Mrs Maddock's body "wedged" behind a bedroom door in the house the three women shared in Saltburn Road, Wallasey, last August after a neighbour raised concerns about her welfare.
Forensic examination did not give an exact cause or date of death but it is thought she died of natural causes any time between two and six months earlier.