TV extra who left mother’s body to rot and drew pension jailed

A TV extra who left her mother’s rotting corpse “wedged” behind a bedroom door so she could claim her pension money was jailed for 11 months yesterday.

The body of Olive Maddock, 95, was left to decompose on the floor of the bedroom of her Merseyside home by daughter Olive Hazel Maddock, known as Hazel, and granddaughter Jasmine Maddock, 35.

The pair were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after Hazel Maddock, 61, pleaded guilty to unlawful prevention of burial at an earlier hearing.

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Maddock, a TV extra who has worked on Channel 4 dramas Brookside and Hollyoaks, also admitted fraudulently obtaining one payment of her dead mother’s state pension of £176.92 and a single payment of pension credit of £34.44.

Jasmine Maddock, an artist, pleaded guilty to leaving the corpse of her grandmother unburied at the same hearing.

She was given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years with supervision and was ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid community service.

Judge Gerald Clifton said the pair had entered into a “conspiracy of silence”.

“What you did was a gross effrontery to the natural decent behaviour of most good people in similar positions throughout the land,” he said.

Anya Horwood, prosecuting, told the court that police found Mrs Maddock’s body “wedged” behind a bedroom door in the house the three women shared in Saltburn Road, Wallasey, last August after a neighbour raised concerns about her welfare.

Forensic examination did not give an exact cause or date of death but it is thought she died of natural causes any time between two and six months earlier.

On Sunday August 1, neighbour Pauline King reported her concerns about the welfare of Mrs Maddock to the police and a police constable visited the house.

Mrs Horwood said: “The officer explained the reason for the visit and Olive Maddock replied, ‘She is fine, she is in the front room and we have been giving her food through the door’.”

When the officer said he wanted to check on her, Maddock replied: “I haven’t seen her for a week, to be honest. I don’t know if she is dead or alive.”

The policeman was struck by an “appalling smell” as soon as he stepped in the house, the court heard. The house was infested with mice and swarms of flies.

More police officers were called and when they could not open the bedroom door, an officer peered around it and saw a “decomposing body lying among rubbish and clutter”.

When arrested, Maddock told police: “I’m no expert. I didn’t know if she was dead ... ,I went in the room and she grabbed my leg and that really freaked me out so I didn’t go back in.”

When Jasmine Maddock was examined by a doctor following her arrest she said that her grandmother had fallen out of bed around three weeks earlier and that her mother said they should not report the death until the pension had been secured.

The court heard Jasmine Maddock had spent 35 years of her life sharing a bedroom with her mother and that she would cook and wash in her bedroom.

Sarah Phelan, mitigating for Maddock, said the defendants’ lived in a family home “unimaginable to the normal citizen”.

She added: “The defendant has been judged in the court of public opinion.

“She is remorseful. In her own words, she loathes herself and can’t see a way forward.”

Hannah Wood, mitigating for Jasmine Maddock, said she suffered from dependent personality disorder and a panic disorder.

“Jasmine’s motivation was simply to carry on surviving in the only environment she had known.”