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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map