By Loukas Founten.
A woman has been found not guilty of manslaughter after leaving her elderly mother on the floor with no food or water for seven days after she fell over.
Josephine Peake, 82, was found dead in the bathroom of her Fulham Gardens home in Adelaide’s west in October 2014.
Nearly a year later her daughter, Michelle Catherine Peake, 56, was charged with criminal neglect.
That charge was upgraded to manslaughter this year but Ms Peake was today found not guilty in the Supreme Court by reason of mental incompetence.
In a police statement read to court, Ms Peake said she came home on Friday, October 10, 2014 to find her mother lying down outside on the back step.
She said she helped her inside but could not lift her.
“I said to mum I was going to call the doctor. I didn’t know how long she was on the ground before I arrived,” the statement read.
“I said to mum ‘I should get you an ambulance’ but she kept saying she would be alright.”
In a police interview played in court filmed the day of her mother’s death, Ms Peake clarified what happened.
“She kept telling me to go about my plans so that’s what I was doing,” she explained.
“I genuinely think she believed that she would be right shortly.”
The 82 year-old lay on the kitchen floor for seven days before managing to make her way to the bathroom before she died.
A police officer told the court Ms Peake showed little emotion as she explained what happened.
“She was showing no expression, no emotion and she was very keen to make her toast,” Constable Natasha Altamura said.