Husband ‘killed wife, 61, by leaving her infested with flies and maggots, cancer and septic ulcers’

Husband ‘killed wife, 61, by leaving her infested with flies and maggots, cancer and septic ulcers’

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A HUSBAND neglected his dying wife so badly she was found infested with flies and maggots and riddled with skin ulcers, a court heard.

Paramedics and firefighters were left shocked when they found Richard Wallach’s wife Valerie, 61, in “the worst condition of a living human they had ever seen” at her home in Toxteth, Liverpool in August 2017.

Richard Wallach is on trial at Liverpool Crown Court for manslaughter
SWNS:South West News Service

Wallach, 66, is accused of manslaughter by gross negligence, which he denies.

The court heard when a doctor told Wallach that his wife was likely to die, he replied: “Thanks for letting me know, but who is going to sort out my problem?

“I have been constipated for weeks.”

The tragic mum-of-two was “confined to sit in an armchair substantially soiled with urine and faeces,” prosecutor Richard Pratt said.

He told Liverpool Crown Court: “Although still alive, she was infested with flies and maggots.”

The court was told Mrs Wallach had a fungal infection which turned out to be cancer, her legs were riddled with ulcers and she appeared to be “overwhelmingly septic.”

She appeared pale, struggling for breath and was vacant and unresponsive to the paramedics. She had flies over her, her teeth were blackened and she appeared overweight.


Prosecutor Richard Pratt

She was rushed to hospital on August 24, 2017, where her “condition shocked even experienced medical professionals” who found her “barely able to communicate”, the court was told.

Mrs Wallach survived for 19 days before she died on September 12.

Paramedics who attended the house on Gwendoline Street noted a foul smell and build-up of rubbish inside, and decided to wear protective clothing while entering.

Mr Pratt said: “When eventually they were able to gain access, the conditions were truly appalling – there was a large quantity of bags of rubbish with rotting and mouldy food, such that they had to wade through the bags to reach Valerie, who was seated in an armchair in a bay window with the floor around her being completely covered in rubbish.

“She appeared pale, struggling for breath and was vacant and unresponsive to the paramedics. She had flies over her, her teeth were blackened and she appeared overweight.

It must have been obvious to anybody, including this defendant, that his wife’s confinement to a chair in which she ate, urinated and defecated, surrounded by bags of rubbish, in excruciating pain from sores he observed was seriously life threatening, with an obvious risk of death if untreated.


Prosecutor Mr Pratt

“The impression formed by the more experienced paramedic, Helen Roose, was that she had been sitting eating, urinating and defecating in the same chair for some time.

“The collective experience of the fire officers spanned well over 30 years – they had never seen a living human being in such a poor condition.

“It would have taken weeks or months to reach this level.”

A nurse described Wallach’s behaviour after his wife’s death was “strange and said he “did not appear to be concerned or grieving for his wife – he seemed only to be concerned about his own position.”

Mr Pratt said: “It must have been obvious to anybody, including this defendant, that his wife’s confinement to a chair in which she ate, urinated and defecated, surrounded by bags of rubbish, in excruciating pain from sores he observed was seriously life threatening, with an obvious risk of death if untreated.


“His conduct observed by medical professionals and others at the time of her discovery and subsequent treatment reveals a man who only cared about himself and displayed a wholesale indifference and lack of care towards his wife.

“That indifference, that lack of care is so striking in this case as to make it exceptionally bad – and thus a crime.

“And the crime is manslaughter.”


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