Libby Baker: Caregiver convicted of leaving husband with cancer in poo

A woman has been jailed after leaving her husband covered in feces and lice while he was battling cancer at their home.

In a long-awaited conclusion to a 10-year quest for justice, Libby Jade Baker, 44, was sentenced to at least three years in prison in NSW District Court on Friday.

She was found guilty of manslaughter last year after a jury trial alone found she was criminally negligent for failing to take care of Johnathan Young in the months leading up to his death.

The 58-year-old had spent five months in Baker’s care as he battled colon and kidney cancer before he died on October 16, 2012.

When a social worker visited the North Richmond home earlier this month, a court was previously told she was overcome by the smell of feces and rotting meat and observed Mr Young’s skin “clinging to his bones”.

He was covered in lice and painful sores when he was hospitalized just 11 days before his death.

Medical professionals were horrified by his condition, with one nurse noting “he looked dead”. The court was previously told his eyes were sunken and his body was covered with dark lesions when he was admitted.

Nurses found he was covered in lice, which had formed balls of crawling in his armpits, and he hadn’t had a proper shower in weeks.

Healthcare workers said the 58-year-old was severely malnourished and had dried feces on his legs, the court was previously told.

Mr Young weighed just 35.8kg at the time of his death, having lost a staggering 27kg in just six months.

Judge Deborah Sweeny ruled that Baker failed to provide her husband with adequate food, sanitation and medical care, which resulted in his death.

The court was told the 44-year-old was addicted to heroin while caring for Mr Young. Her use had accelerated following the tragic death of her mother, who was badly beaten and killed by her partner.

She sentenced the failed carer to a five-year, three-year sentence without parole on Friday for negligently breaching her duty of care to her husband.

There’s more to come

Originally published as Negligent caretaker convicted of leaving a sick husband covered in lice and feces

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