Neglectful husband left stuck wife with pies and water

An "overbearing" husband left his wife with three pork pies and some water when she got wedged down the side of the bed, a court heard today.

David Hargest, 65, who admitted neglect and ill-treatment, said he could not free wife Cheryl because of his bad back.

The pork pies were still sitting on the mattress in their packet when police arrived at the couple's flat, the court was told.

Cardiff Crown Court, where Hargest was given a 36-week suspended sentence, heard how he failed to look after Mrs Hargest properly when he should have been caring for her.

Prosecutor Jon Holmes said the relative of a neighbour, a nurse, became concerned about Mrs Hargest.

"Mr Hargest was overbearing and domineering and she suggests that Mrs Hargest is, to a degree, afraid of him," Mr Holmes said.

On one occasion she found the flat in Butetown, Cardiff, in a poor state with an "overwhelming" smell of urine.

In April, Hargest said his wife had "managed to get herself wedged between the mattresses".

It had happened before, he said, but this time he could not get her out because of his back.

"He said he had left her some pork pies on the mattress so she had something to eat and a bottle of water, but he had clearly left her there," Mr Holmes said.

Police could not see Mrs Hargest in the bedroom at first. They found her lying on the floor between the bed and a chest of drawers.

"The police did notice there was a packet of three unopened pork pies on the mattress near to where Mrs Hargest was on the floor," he said.

At hospital doctors said she was confused, dehydrated, had pressure sores on her back and showed signs of neglect.

Hargest accepted his wife had a history of schizophrenia and epilepsy, Mr Holmes added.

The couple met in 1993 and married in 1996. He started looking after her in 2000.

But he stopped collecting the medication for her epilepsy and was told last December that he needed to bring her in for a review.

Jennet Treharne, mitigating, said at that time his "level of care fell short of what was required".

"Why did he not go to find appropriate medication for her? The reason being that she was in denial herself," she said.

"She was adamant that she would refuse to go, either to the surgery or have a home visit."

She said Hargest accepted he should have gotten help when he could not move his wife.

"It perhaps shows the naivety of his approach that he left the pork pies for her," she added.

"It was not a deliberate assault. It was neglect and it is perhaps against a background of many, many, years of looking after his wife who had considerable problems."

Sentencing Hargest for ill-treating or wilfully neglecting his wife at a time when she lacked mental capacity, Judge Isabel Parry said: "For a period of four months you failed to obtain, as you should have, your wife's medication for her epilepsy."

She added: "The fact that she was uncooperative and unable to do things at your request was a marker to the extent that she needed care, if not from you then from outside agencies."

His sentence was suspended for two years and he will be supervised by a probation officer.

ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn