Woman found fused to furniture after three years on couch

A NEW ZEALAND woman has been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life to her elderly mother, who was found in her home after apparently being confined to a couch for at least three years.

Details have emerged after the latest court appearance of the woman, aged in her early 50s and yet to plead to the charge which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years' jail.

Ambulance crews were shocked when they were called by the daughter to a Napier house in December 2011 and discovered the elderly woman on the couch, her leg fixed to a footstool, police say.

The victim turned 81 soon afterwards, but it was her last birthday - she died, still in hospital, several weeks later.

Detective John McGregor, of Napier, said a lengthy police investigation followed and the woman was charged late last year, during which police learned the elderly woman had probably remained on the couch throughout the three years before the ambulance was called.

Police charged the daughter with failing to provide her mother with the necessaries of life.

She appeared before Judge Bridget Mackintosh at a trials callover in Napier District Court on Tuesday and was remanded to appear again on June 28.

It's understood the courts will consider whether the accused is fit to plea to the charge, and reports will be sought under s38 of the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act.



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