Monday 19 March 2018

MS sufferer left without food for days, court told

Brendan Furlong

THE daughter of Evelyn Joel told the trial into her death that on occasion she did not bring her mother food for two days.

But she said her mother never complained.

Eleanor Joel and Jonathan Costen, of Cluain Dara, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, have pleaded not guilty to the unlawful killing by neglect and reckless endangerment of Evelyn Joel between December 1, 2005 and January 7, 2007.

The 59-year-old MS sufferer was found by medical staff days before she died in hospital, lying emaciated in her bed, covered in excrement and flies in an upstairs bedroom of her daughter's house.

Giving evidence yesterday, Eleanor Joel said: "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."

The court heard that the mattress from Mrs Joel's bed was burned in the back yard.

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

During an interview with gardai, she claimed Mr Costen put pressure on her to get her mother to leave the house as she could no longer cope.

Eleanor Joel also told gardai that her mother was extremely dirty and had been unwashed when the ambulance arrived at the house.

"I would not let my kids get into that condition. I started not caring about her before she was brought into hospital," she told gardai.

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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