A solicitor convicted of willfully neglecting her mother as she died in squalid conditions has been jailed for two and a half years. Emma-Jane Kurtz, 41, was convicted last month at Oxford Crown Court of one count of wilful neglect by the donee of a power of attorney under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. She was sentenced at Oxford last week.
In July 2014, officers had found her 79-year-old mother Cecily Kurtz slumped on a sofa with her chin on her knees, where she had been for five days. She was covered in her own excrement, with numerous urine burns to her body and weighing just 39kg.
Emma-Jane Kurtz, admitted in 2004, was a specialist in elderly care cases and had been with south east firm Boyes Turner since 2015. She was a member of the court of protection team setting up trusts for those with capacity and deputyships for those without, in respect of compensation awards for clients who have suffered clinical negligence or personal injury. The firm said following her conviction that disciplinary proceedings had commenced.
Speaking after conviction, Kirsty Allman, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said it was one of the most shocking and sickening cases of neglect she had come across.
‘The investigation established that [Cecily] had suffered from mental illness for many years and hadn’t been seen by others for a period of 10 years before her death. She had suffered unimaginably and died in the most undignified manner. It is rare to come across a case that involves such sheer and blatant neglect against a vulnerable, elderly woman, by someone who was supposed to love and care for her.’