Actress who kept mum's body behind door jailed
Published 02/07/2011 | 05:00
A television actress who left her mother's rotting corpse "wedged" behind a bedroom door so she could claim her pension money was jailed for 11 months yesterday.
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 grand-daughter 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 (C196.08) and a single payment of pension credit of £34.44 (C38.17).
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.
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.
On August 1, a police constable visited the house. The policeman was struck by an "appalling smell" as soon as he stepped in the house, the court heard.
The house was infested with mice and swarms of flies.
More police officers were called and when they could not open the bedroom door, an officer peered around it and saw a "decomposing body lying amongst rubbish and clutter".
"A crowbar was used to open the door fully and wedged between the door and the wardrobe was the dead body of Olive Maddock," said Mrs Horwood.
When arrested, Maddock told police: "I'm no expert. I didn't know if she was dead... I went in the room and she grabbed my leg and that really freaked me out so I didn't go back in."
It is thought Mrs Maddock died of natural causes between two and six months earlier.