A carer will face court over charges relating to the alleged abuse and neglect of a 77-year-old woman who was found living in “extremely unhygienic” conditions.
Ipswich detectives have charged the 56-year-old Queensland woman with grievous bodily harm and failing to provide the necessities of life to the senior following an investigation of a property in the rural suburb of Tarampa, around 70km west of Brisbane.
Police will allege the woman had been neglecting and mistreating the 77-year-old, who was in her care, over a prolonged period of time, causing significant injuries which led to her being admitted to hospital late last month.
Authorities were first notified of the incident after the Queensland Ambulance Service was called to the address on Lowood-Minden Road on May 29 by the 56-year-old carer.
Upon attending the scene paramedics discovered the 77-year-old had an extremely low body temperature and was suffering from a cardiac arrest. She was urgently transported to the hospital for treatment where she has remained “largely unresponsive”.
“Medical staff have advised police of their concerns in regards to injuries and the condition of that female and as such an investigation has commenced,” Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Lee Fortune explained in a press conference on Monday.
“That investigation included extensive inquiries to obtain statements and speak to people who can provide background into the level of care provided to that female.”
He added: “It will be alleged that the conditions at that property are extremely unhygienic and have led to the condition that this 77-year-old female is in.”
Speaking about the terrible conditions, Fortune described the situation as “extremely disturbing” as it’s believed the woman had been in the care of the 56-year-old for some time.
“It’s extremely disturbing. It’s extremely sad that a 77-year-old female who is supposed to be cared for by that person would be living long term in this sort of condition,” he explained.
“It’s distressing for police to unearth this sort of care and lack of care.”
Police are said to have also uncovered a number of animals at the property including horses, geese and chickens, requiring bio-hazard measures to be put in place.
Detective Inspector David Briese of the Ipswich District Crime Services Unit said police will continue to work with RSPCA staff in respect to conditions at the property and the animals being kept there, with further charges possible in the coming weeks.
“The scene that investigators and forensic officers were confronted with was distressing to say the least and it is a testament to these officers that they were able to work within this environment to gather evidence sufficient to proceed with charges,’ he said.
The 56-year-old is due to appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court on Tuesday.