Cruelty accused gets all clear to cross-examine witnesses

A LEGAL team for a woman accused of failing in her duties of care to an elderly woman has been given court approval to cross-examine prosecution witnesses.

The Crown prosecution case against Michelle Leanne Stitt, a government-paid carer, resurfaced at a call-over of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution cases before Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Stitt, 57, from Tarampa, is charged with failing to supply the necessaries of life to a woman aged 77 between May 7 and May 30, 2019; causing grievous bodily harm to a 77-year-old woman on April 29, 2019; and 15 counts of breaching her duty of care to animals by failing to provide.

The matters will likely proceed before Ipswich District Court.

In a case mention before Magistrate Kurt Fowler on Wednesday, defence lawyer Matt Gemmell sought a court date to allow cross-examination of two witnesses – a police witness and a doctor – saying there had been successful negotiation with the prosecution on this.

A date was set for October 15, and the cross-examination was expected to take several hours.

Stitt, who remains on bail, did not have to attend court.

The charges against Stitt arose after police found the elderly woman living in what was then described as being unhygienic conditions at a rural property on May 29 last year.

The woman was admitted to hospital.

The RSPCA also became involved due to animals being kept at the property.

As part of her bail conditions, Stitt is not allowed to enter any care arrangements, nor contact the elderly woman.