Nundle's Neil Douglas Morris pleads guilty to manslaughter after victim left in chair dies

GUILTY PLEA: Neil Douglas Morris pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Tamworth District Court on Monday. Photo: Peter Hardin 150818PHA368
GUILTY PLEA: Neil Douglas Morris pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Tamworth District Court on Monday. Photo: Peter Hardin 150818PHA368

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

A CARER who let his morbidly obese fiance rot to death in Nundle has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Neil Douglas Morris, 60, left the victim in a recliner without food or water for 72 hours and has received a carer’s payment since 2012.

The graphic details of the case can now be revealed after Morris pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Tamworth District Court on Monday.

The man’s charge was upgraded to manslaughter in August and he was set to go to trial for at least three weeks in July, before he changed his plea.

The decision now is how much of a discount Morris should receive given he has saved the court from what would have been a lengthy trial, Judge Jeffery McLennan said.

“The debate will be on the range of 15 to 20 per cent for the discount,” he said. “The cause of death would have been agitated with serious issues related to expert evidence.”

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Police facts show a nurse visited the couple’s home on July 13, 2017, and found the 75-year-old slumped in a chair unable to speak with sunken eyes and her legs weeping fluid onto the floor.

The victim suffered from urine and fecal incontinence and had spent three days without food or drink.

She sat in her own bodily fluids, with ‘small, midge-like insects’ crawling over her body, facts detailed.

Morris told paramedics his partner of 15 years lost the strength to live three weeks earlier after finalising her will. When the ambulance took her to hospital the victim believed it was 1974.

At Tamworth hospital doctors decided her wounds were too severe to survive – her spinal bones were visible and she was placed in palliative care where she died on July 16, 2017.

Police evidence tendered in court claims Morris did not understand the seriousness of the injury and was annoyed the soiled sling used to lift the victim out of the chair would not be returned to him because it would “cost him money”. 

He made mention that he wasn’t a doctor or vet and “did his best” but had noticed the bugs and fluids near her wounds.

Morris told police he should not have let her sit in the chair without food or drink for three days, but had planned to call for help the following day if she didn’t improve.

The coroner’s report showed the rotted lesion that caused her death was likely present for months.

Morris’ case was set for a three-week trial in July but he will now be sentenced in Tamworth District Court in May.

He remains on bail.