Inside the alleged ‘house of neglect’

These are the images of inside the house where Shirley Thompson developed infected bedsores down to the bone and lay on a urine-soaked mattress.

The 72-year-old former church volunteer had lived in the house in the western Sydney suburb of Greystanes for years, but in 2017 she developed the bedsores which gave her blood poisoning.

She also developed a serious wound the size of a fist after lying on this bed for months.

Now her two sons await the verdict of a NSW Supreme Court judge who will hand down his verdict next Friday as to whether they are guilt of their mother's manslaughter.

The judge only trial before Justice Des Fagan has heard horrific allegations of neglect by the brothers of their elderly mother.

David Thompson, 40, and Phillip Thompson, 43, a former Australian Federal Police officer, deny them, having pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter by way of neglect of their mother.

On Friday, Justice Fagan ordered the brothers' release from custody after hearing final submissions ahead of his decision and reasons next week.

Shirley Thompson, 72, died of blood poisoning in Blacktown Hospital palliative care unit on September 2, 2017.

During the trial, the prosecution alleged the brothers lived in a filthy house and caused their mother's death through gross negligence.

Mattress in the bedroom of Shirley Thompson who died from infected bedsores in 2017.
Mattress in the bedroom of Shirley Thompson who died from infected bedsores in 2017.

Crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks told the trial Shirley Thompson was extremely isolated and totally dependent on her sons for her daily needs including nutrition, mobility and personal hygiene.

Ten days prior to her death, on August 23, David Thompson called an ambulance saying his bedridden mother couldn't eat and had a wound on her backside.

Paramedics found the dehydrated and malnourished woman had developed infected bedsores in her urine-soaked bed in a house they described as filthy and disgusting.

The prosecution alleged the brothers had been aware in the preceding month of her deteriorating condition, including the bedsores and the significant wound, and the need for medical help.

But the men's defence counsel told the court Mrs Thompson had consistently refused to receive medical attention and had made her own decisions about her life.

They included when, if and what to eat, about using the bathroom and about not seeking medical help.

"We say Shirley Thompson died because of choices she herself made," said Tony Evers, for David Thompson.

In his recorded police interview, Phillip Thompson repeatedly said he and his brother looked after her to the best of their abilities.

He stressed they were not medical professionals.

David Thompson leaves the Supreme Court during his judge only trial in which he has pleaded no guilty to manslaughter. Picture: James Gourley.
David Thompson leaves the Supreme Court during his judge only trial in which he has pleaded no guilty to manslaughter. Picture: James Gourley.

Mr Tunks said the siblings owed a duty of care to their mother and a reasonable person would have sought medical assistance or advice much earlier.

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-0 call, said Ms Thompson's room had a stench and smelt "really poorly".

Ms Kuhner said everything was filthy and when she first looked at the floor she thought it was just dirt and not actually carpet.

David Thompson is driven away with brother Phillip after they were freed on bail ahead of a decision next week. Picture: Chris Pavlich.
David Thompson is driven away with brother Phillip after they were freed on bail ahead of a decision next week. Picture: Chris Pavlich.

The elderly woman, whose pallor was almost greyish, was lying in bed and when the paramedic pulled back the sheets, Mrs Thompson was naked and appeared to have bruises and a large open wound on her bottom which contained faecal matter.

Mrs Thompson had a towel under her and there was a pungent smell of urine.

"It was quite disgusting," Ms Kuhner said.

"It was just soaked in urine and faecal matter."

When asked about medical treatment, David Thompson told Ms Kuhner: "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."

A triage nurse, Lauren Cole, gave evidence that Mrs Thompson smelt of urine and that the wound on her bottom was "the size of my fist".

Defence counsel Tony Evers said the Greystanes house "could have been cleaner, but of course [David Thompson] was not a professional. He was her son".

candace.sutton@news.com.au

A triage nurse said the 72-year-old in her bedroom (above) had a wound on her bottom ‘the size of my fist’.
A triage nurse said the 72-year-old in her bedroom (above) had a wound on her bottom ‘the size of my fist’.
Shirley Thompson developed infected sores lying on a urine-soaked mattress in this Greystanes house (above). Picture: Dominic O'Brien.
Shirley Thompson developed infected sores lying on a urine-soaked mattress in this Greystanes house (above). Picture: Dominic O'Brien.
The bedroom of Phillip Thompson in a photo tendered to the court during his trial for manslaughter.
The bedroom of Phillip Thompson in a photo tendered to the court during his trial for manslaughter.
Phillip Thompson financed the household. Picture: James Gourley.
Phillip Thompson financed the household. Picture: James Gourley.
David Thompson said his mother made her own decisions. Picture: Peter Rae.
David Thompson said his mother made her own decisions. Picture: Peter Rae.

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