independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

'I accept my mother was neglected'

THE DAUGHTER of Evelyn Joel told the trial into her death that she accepted her mother was in a comatose state when she went into hospital.

Eleanor Joel, one of the accused, in a statement to gardaí which was read into the trial yesterday ( Tuesday), also accepted that her mother at that time was extremely thin, dehydrated and also had a skin breakdown.

Eleanor Joel, and Jonathan Costen, of 37 Cluain Dara, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, have pleaded not guilty to unlawful killing by neglect and reckless endangerment of Evelyn Joel between December 1, 2005, and January 6, 2007.

Garda Ursula Quarry told the trial that in the statement taken at Enniscorthy Garda Station on January 30, 2006, Eleanor Joel told of having seen the medical report of Dr Clodagh Dwyer.

Eleanor Joel agreed that she had met Dr Dwyer in Wexford Hospital who told her that her mother was extremely ill, while also suggesting that she may not pull out of it.

She (the accused) in her statement also told of her mother been extremely dirty when the ambulance arrived and been unwashed.

In her statement she said: 'I would not let my kids get into that condition. I started not caring about her before she was brought into hospital.' When the medical report of Dr Kelly was put before her by Garda Quarry, Eleanor Joel agreed that the big issue in the hospital regarding her mother was malnourishment and dehydration, while also agreeing that it would not have started over a short period of time.

The accused, Eleanor Joel, also acknowledged that her mother did not eat for three weeks before she died, while she also accepted the medical view that her mother was neglected.

'I accept the medical view because they are professionals,' she said. During the course of the interview, she also accepted that everyone knew the mattress was burned in the yard while the mattress in the trailer was not her mother's mattress.

'I did not know it was against the law at the time to burn the mattress,' she said. She also said that Dr Forde, when he came down from the room, was very angry with them. He had been up in the room, saw the state it was in and also saw her mother.

Eleanor Joel also told in her statement of Jonathan (Costen) putting pressure on her for her mother to get out as she was unable to cope any longer.

'But I was happy to have my mother here. Jonathan would wake me up about 1 a.m. and tell me he did not want her (mother) here. This would happen when he had drink. I am seeing a counsellor once a week.

Eleanor Joel also said that her mother never complained about the food. 'I fed my mother every day but there were days in October when I brought her no food as I was depressed. She could have gone two days without food or drink. From Christmas, every day, I brought up food and drink but she would not take it. I tried everything after that but she would not take it. When she stopped eating I did not stop bringing her up food and drink.'

She also said that when the mattress was burned it was burned to hide the evidence because it was dirty. Eleanor Joel also acknowleded that there was a lot of excrement on the mattress but it did not look too bad.

The trial continues today ( Wednesday).

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