A TASMANIAN couple who housed an elderly woman in a shipping container have pleaded guilty to causing her death.
Michael and Jassy Anglin yesterday admitted to killing 77-year-old Janet Mackozdi by culpable negligence in July 2010.
Ms Mackozdi, Jassy Anglin’s mother, was living with the couple and their children at a newly bought, rundown Derwent Valley property after her health had rapidly declined.
The Supreme Court in Hobart heard Mrs Mackozdi slept inside the dilapidated Mount Lloyd shack on the first night.
On the second night, she was moved outside to a sparsely furnished shipping container after piles of boxes brought to the property left her nowhere to sleep.
She stayed inside the poorly insulated container with two of her grandchildren.
Crown prosecutor Darryl Coates, SC, said overnight temperatures fell below freezing and Mrs Mackozdi died from hypothermia.
Michael Anglin discovered her body about 9.30am and alerted his wife.
Too embarrassed to call an ambulance, Jassy Anglin instead bathed and clothed her mother before the couple drove her to a nearby hospital.
Nurses were told Mrs Mackozdi had died en route to a family outing and passed the information on to police.
Police spotted inconsistencies in the story and extradited the pair from Queensland in April last year to face manslaughter charges after a four-year investigation.
Mr Coates said the death was a tragedy for the deceased and the accused.
‘‘They’ve lost their mother, their children have lost their grandmother, and on top of that they’re facing a very serious charge,’’ he said.
‘‘It was only for one night ... they didn’t realise she was suffering.’’
Defence lawyer Tamara Jago, SC, said Mrs Mackozdi’s death was not a case of sinister intent or abuse but one episode of gross misjudgment.
‘‘For all but one night Mr and Mrs Anglin cared for her and attended to her needs with the utmost care, dignity and respect,’’ Ms Jago said.
‘‘On this one night they made an exceptionally bad decision.’’
The couple have been bailed to appear for sentencing on April 13.