A WOMAN neglected her mentally ill mother for so long that she was discovered dead slumped on her sofa in filth and squalor, a court heard.

Emma-Jane Kurtz, of Blackwater Way, Didcot, denies one count of wilful neglect by the donee of the enduring power of attorney.

The 41-year old looked down at her feet and showed no emotion as the jury of six men and six women heard the extent of the alleged neglect at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

Opening the trial Oliver Saxby QC, prosecuting, said that the ‘horrifying’ neglect ‘beggared belief’.

He said: “Putting it brutally but accurately, this defendant allowed her mother to die in her own urine and faeces.

“It is no answer to say that her mother did not want help, that she always obeyed her mother, that there was nothing she could do.

“Way before the paramedic found her dead in the shocking state she was in, it must have been blindingly obvious to her that she needed assistance.”

He told jurors that a Home Office pathologist described her mother Cecily as 'emaciated' once a post-mortem had been carried out.

The court went on to hear a frantic 999 call made by Kurtz on the night of July 2 2014 when her mother was found not breathing on the sitting room sofa.

Kurtz told operators while an ambulance was despatched: “She has been very, very ill for some time."

The court also heard an account from paramedic Mark Lund who was the first on the scene and who described the body as being ‘in a state of considerable neglect’.

Reading the account to jurors Mr Saxby said: “There was a strong smell of faeces and urine as soon as I entered the house. The smell was stronger in the room. The room appeared to be in a state of neglect and filth.

"My impression was that the deceased was living in a very dirty, unhygienic room, or house, and that this was not an environment that had suddenly occurred.

“The stains in the room appeared to be old, or not at all recent.”

Cecily, who was aged 79 when she died, suffered from bipolar depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, the court heard.

Her cause of death was recorded as a 'pulmonary thromboembolism' - a blood clot which developed in her leg and moved to her lungs which blocked the pulmonary artery.

Cecily had been treated by doctors for her conditions as early as March 2000, the court heard, and on one home visit a local GP - Dr Alyson Lee noted that she had 'poor personal hygiene' and had not washed in over a month.

Dr Lee added: "I am not sure daughter has time or skills to cope with intensive needs of her mother."

She was treated until February 2004 when doctors noted that a mental health assessment was refused by Cecily and her husband Alan.

After this there was 'complete radio silence' Mr Saxby told jurors, and it wasn't until the 999 call on July 2 when Cecily was found dead in her sitting room sofa that she was heard from again.

The court heard that when Kurtz was interviewed by police in March 2015 a statement was read to officers which said that Kurtz was aware her mother had mental health problems and added: "I believe that my mother had full mental capacity right up to the point of her death."

Kurtz was a qualified solicitor, the court heard, who was working for a Reading law firm at the time of the alleged neglect.

Her specialisms included 'advice on financial responsibility and funding for long term care' and 'elder abuse'.

The trial, expected to last two weeks, continues.