The photograph shows Matthew Langley’s room covered with rubbish, with virtually no floor visible. A court case had heard police had revealed that they had found faeces and vomit in Matthew’s attic bedroom over the floor and bedding along with buzzing flies, a bad smell and a key on the outside of the door.
Craig Hewitt, aged 42, and Lorna Hewitt, aged 43, of Walkley Road, Walkley, Sheffield, were both found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court last week of Matthew’s false imprisonment between November, 2019, to June, 2020, and also found guilty of causing or allowing a vulnerable adult to suffer serious harm between the same dates, after a trial.
Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting, had told the jury during the hearing how an ambulance was called to the Hewitts’ home in the early hours of June 2, 2020, where Matthew Langley was found seriously underweight and dehydrated. He told the court Matthew’s life had been hanging in the balance.
Mr Langley, who is autistic and has suffered with irritable bowel syndrome, incontinence, arthritis and learning difficulties, had weighed only 39kg when he was found, according to Mr Campbell, but seven months before in November, 2019, he had weighed 53.6kg.
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Mr Langley was admitted to a hospital intensive care unit in a “pitiable state” with abrasions indicating he had been moving around on all fours and he had suffered damage to a kidney with high sodium levels relating to severe dehydration, according to Mr Campbell.
The National Autistic Society has now described the scene in the pictures as being "deeply disturbing".
Tim Nicholls, head of policy, public affairs and research partnerships at the society, said: "What happened to Matthew was horrifying.
"Autistic people and families across the country will be deeply disturbed by this case and the shocking conditions shown in this picture.
"It's inexcusable, no-one should have to go through what Matthew faced."
The couple are due to be sentenced at court on 18 February.