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metro
Woman, 33, died after developing serious health issues caused by junk food diet

Woman, 33, died after developing serious health issues caused by junk food diet

metro - 2 months ago
Woman, 33, died after developing serious health issues caused by junk food diet
Kerry Warren lived with her mum and sister in Newstead, Stoke-on-Trent (Picture: Google Maps)

Neglect played a part in the death of a woman who suffered serious health problems after being allowed to live on a diet of mostly junk food, a coroner has ruled. 

Kerry Warren, 33, who lived with her mother and sister in Newstead, Stoke-on-Trent, needed assistance with basic tasks, but would get distressed or aggressive if someone tried to help her against her will. 

An inquest was told her parents were ‘very loving’ towards Ms Warren but would give in to her wishes and let her exist on a junk food diet, including chips, pies, chocolates, and cake.  

The poor nutrition led to Ms Warren developing a stem cell disorder, bone marrow failure and severe anaemia. 

Ms Warren had taken to sleeping on the sofa after refusing to go upstairs to bed and her mum, who was her full-time carer, slept on a chair nearby. 

When Mrs Warren woke up on January 8, 2019, she found her daughter lying on the floor wrapped in a quilt, the court heard. 

She and Ms Warrens father, who lived across the road, tried desperately to revive her, as did paramedics when they arrived, but they were unable to save her. 

The court heard an investigation was launched after medics spotted bruising on Ms Warrens body. 

But the matter was dropped when her family explained it was old and caused by restraining her while trying to calm her down when she became violent. 

Detective Constable David Stubbs told the inquest he discovered most of Ms Warrens medical records had been lost after her GP de-registered her when she failed to respond to letters. 

It was only when a concerned housing officer had visited the family’s council home in 2016 that a fresh referral was made to adult social services. 

DC Stubbs said: The housing officer felt Mrs Warren was very loving to Kerry but couldn’t cope. It was easier for her to give in to what Kerry wanted, instead of what she needed. 

The referral led to her being assigned a support worker. But the family failed to attend appointments and ‘disengaged’, so the support ended in March 2017, the inquest heard. 

North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley asked Ms Warren’s parents: Do you agree there was help and support offered, but it upset Kerry and you couldn’t force her to accept that help? 

Her mum, who also has learning difficulties, replied: Yes, it was very hard. She told the inquest she did the best I could. 

The inquest heard Ms Warren would tell her mum what she wanted to eat, with Mrs Warren telling the court: She had toast in the morning. She had a chip bap and a cake for dinner. Then she had a pie and gravy, with some chips, for her tea. 

A post-mortem examination showed the probable cause of death was megaloblastic anaemia, linked to a lack of folic acid and vitamin B12. But other causes couldn’t be excluded. 

Mr Barkley concluded: It is more likely than not that she died of natural causes contributed to by neglect. 

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