A solicitor specialising in elderly care cases has been convicted of wilful neglect following the death of her mother.
Emma-Jane Kurtz, 41, was convicted last week at Oxford Crown Court of one count of wilful neglect by the donee of a power of attorney under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Officers from Thames Valley Police had attended Kurtz’s Didcot home in July 2014 after a report of the death of her 79-year-old mother Cecily Kurtz, who had died on a sofa at the property.
Medical crews became concerned about the condition of the property and of Mrs Kurtz, and her daughter was charged via postal requisition in April 2017.
She was convicted following a two-week trial and will be sentenced at the end of this month. She is also likely to be subject to an investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Emma-Jane Kurtz, a solicitor with south east firm Boyes Turner since 2015, was a member of the court of protection team setting up trusts for those with capacity and deputyships for those without, in respect of compensation awards for clients who have suffered clinical negligence or personal injury.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Francesca Griffin, based at Abingdon Police Station, said: ’Mrs Kurtz, who lived with her husband and daughter Emma-Jane, was found on a sofa and she had been slumped over with her chin on her knees for five days.
'She had become incontinent and was covered from head to toe in faeces, had not changed her clothing for a decade and had urine burns. Her long hair had become matted in to dreadlocks.
‘Emma-Jane Kurtz said she had gone in to the room with her mother in three or four times a day. There had been many opportunities over months and years to help her and remove her from that situation.’
Emma-Jane Francesca Kurtz was admitted in 2004. According to her LinkedIn profile, she specialises in the preparation of wills, administration of trusts and estates and a wide range of capacity issues and making applications to the Court of Protection and day to day financial management for clients who lack capacity.
In a statement, Andrew Chalkley, chief executive at Boyes Turner, said: 'Emma Jane Kurtz has been convicted of a serious offence.
'We have now triggered a disciplinary process, and she is suspended from work until the outcome of that process. Clearly this conviction is an extremely serious matter, however, while the process is ongoing, we can’t comment further.'