Phillip Thompson is on trial with his younger brother, David, after pleading not guilty to their mother’s manslaughter. Picture: Peter Rae/AAP
Phillip Thompson is on trial with his younger brother, David, after pleading not guilty to their mother’s manslaughter. Picture: Peter Rae/AAP

Filthy bed where mum spent final days

Disturbing pictures have emerged of the where a Sydney mother was allegedly left to die due to the neglect of her two sons.

The brothers are accused of grossly neglecting their ailing mother, who developed infected bedsores while in her urine-soaked bed, say she died because of her own choices.

This is the bed where Shirley Thompson spent her final days. Picture: Supreme Court of NSW/AAP
This is the bed where Shirley Thompson spent her final days. Picture: Supreme Court of NSW/AAP

But the prosecutor at their trial said Shirley Thompson became extremely isolated after her husband's death in 2012 and was totally dependent on her sons for her nutrition, mobility and personal hygiene.

Australian Federal Police diplomatic protection officer Phillip Thompson, 43, and his unemployed brother David Thompson, 40, have pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of their 72-year-old mother, who died in Blacktown Hospital on September 2, 2017.

On August 23, the younger brother called an ambulance saying his bedridden mother couldn't eat and had a wound on her backside, prosecutor Jeff Tunks said in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday.

The images were tendered as evidence in court today. Picture: Supreme Court of NSW/AAP
The images were tendered as evidence in court today. Picture: Supreme Court of NSW/AAP

But, he said, the men were aware in the preceding weeks of their mother's deteriorating condition, including bedsores and the significant wound, and the need for medical attention.

The defence lawyers told Justice Des Fagan, who is hearing the trial without a jury, the case was about choices made by the mother, who had previously refused any medical care.

"We say Shirley Thompson died because of choices she herself made," said Tony Evers, acting for the younger brother.

She made choices about when, if, and what to eat, about using the bathroom and about not seeking medical help, Mr Evers said.

 

Phillip Thompson. Picture: Peter Rae/AAP
Phillip Thompson. Picture: Peter Rae/AAP

"It is true the house could have been cleaner, but of course he was not a professional. He was her son," he said.

Janet Manuel, for Phillip Thompson, said her client was employed full-time and had provided the income for the family while his brother looked after the household.

"The Crown is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Shirley Thompson lacked the capacity to make decisions for her own care," she said.

Paramedic Megan Kuhner, who attended the Greystanes house after the triple-zero call, said Ms Thompson's room had a stench and smelt "really poorly". Everything was filthy and when Ms Kuhner first looked at the floor she thought it was just dirt and not actually carpet.

The patient, whose pallor was almost greyish, was lying in bed on a towel smelling of urine.

"It was quite disgusting," Ms Kuhner said. "It was just soaked in urine and faecal matter." Ms Thompson had bruises, pressure sores and a large open wound on her bottom, a wound which contained faecal matter.

Paramedics Dale Rice and Megan Kuhner arrive at court to testify. Picture: Peter Rae/AAP
Paramedics Dale Rice and Megan Kuhner arrive at court to testify. Picture: Peter Rae/AAP

When asked about medical treatment, David Thompson told her: "She doesn't like to see doctors. She is very stubborn."

Ms Kuhner noticed both sons were quite clean despite the house being filthy.

At one stage, Ms Thompson told her: "I am so thankful to have my sons."

Triage nurse Lauren Cole said Ms Thompson was pale and generally unkempt and smelt of urine.

She had a deep, red inflamed wound on her bottom, which was "the size of my fist and I could put my fist in it".

In his police interview, David Thompson said his mother refused to seek medical help after he noticed "a thing on her backside like a sore".

Asked why he didn't just ring an ambulance himself, he said: "I love her and I didn't want to upset her in any way."

The trial continues.

 

David Thompson. Picture: Peter Rae/AAP
David Thompson. Picture: Peter Rae/AAP