Fresh twist in case of carer charged over disabled woman’s death after she was allegedly ‘left to rot in her own excrement’ as it’s revealed she was a witness to her last will and testament
- Ann Marie Smith, 54, died after she was allegedly left to rot in her own waste
- She died of septic shock, organ failure, pressure sores and malnourishment
- Ms Smith’s carer Rosemary Maione was charged with her manslaughter
- It has been revealed Maione was a key witness on Ms Smith’s final will in 2013
A fresh twist in the case of a carer charged with manslaughter over a disabled woman’s death was a witness to her final will, it has been revealed.
Ann Marie Smith died in the Royal Adelaide Hospital on April 6 from septic shock, multiple organ failure, severe pressure sores and malnourishment.
The 54-year-old, who had cerebral palsy and relied on NDIS support, was allegedly left to rot in her own excrement by 69-year-old carer Rosemary Maione.
Maione was a key witness to Ms Smith’s last will and testament which was also signed by a solicitor and dated December 18, 2013, The Advertiser reported.
Ann Marie Smith (pictured), 54, died at Royal Adelaide Hospital in April from septic shock, multiple organ failure, severe pressure sores and malnourishment
Carer Rosemary Maione (pictured), 69, was charged with manslaughter over Ms Smith’s death. She was a key witness on the 54-year-old’s last will and testament
Ms Smith (pictured) died after allegedly being left to rot in her own waste at at her home
Police have also alleged Ms Smith’s jewellery was taken, her money was stolen and she was left in the same cane chair for 12 months.
Ms Smith’s uncle, Glen Smith, said he was not aware of any earlier wills and spoke out about the lack of financial safeguards protecting society’s vulnerable people.
‘How can a carer be a witness to the will of the person they are taking care of?’ he said.
Mr Smith explained his niece died with $150 in her bank account and had debts exceeding $80,000 despite a $325,000 inheritance from her father in 2009.
Ms Smith’s final will left her entire estate to former carers and friends, but did not include Maione.
Two carers and a female friend were set to receive $2,000 and two male friends would be given Ms Smith’s jewellery and pets.
One of the men, Ms Smith’s former school friend aged in his 50s, was an executor to her will and initiated probate, seeking to distribute her estate, on July 8.
South Australian police have released photos from inside Ms Smith’s home where she sat in her final days. The 54-year-old was allegedly left in the same chair for 12 months
Maione (left) will remain under home detention until she appears in court in April next year
He was set to receive the remainder of Ms Smith’s estate, including her purpose-built Kensington Park house currently on the market for $929,000.
Mr Smith said the oversight made by Maione’s employer Integrity Care SA as well as the NDIS and state and federal governments had been an ‘astounding failure’.
‘How can probate begin when all the investigations are continuing, including her finances? It’s simply beggars belief,’ he said.
Mr Smith said safeguards were needed around witnesses signing legal documents for disabled, elderly and vulnerable people.
A police spokesman said Ms Smith’s will had been viewed by police and no further comment could be made with the case before the courts.
An investigation into Ms Smith’s death and financial affairs is ongoing.
Maione was granted bail to remain under home detention and will appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court in April 2021.
The 54-year-old lived alone in her Adelaide home (pictured) and relied on carers under the National Disability Insurance Scheme