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MILFORD, Conn. (AP) — A man who kept his sister captive in filthy conditions inside their home was sentenced Thursday to 6½ years in prison.

Arthur Gauvin, who pleaded guilty in April to abuse and cruelty charges, tried to explain to the judge at his sentencing hearing why his sister was treated so poorly.

“I tried my best to take care of her,” Gauvin, 60, said in remarks reported by The Hartford Courant. “I ran into dead ends.”

When Gauvin’s sister was found in April 2014 by police officers conducting a wellness check, she was malnourished and covered in urine and feces. Police say the woman was suffering from diabetes and dementia and had been held captive for years. The window in her room inside the home in Seymour was blacked out with paint.

Gauvin was sentenced by a Milford Superior Court judge who expressed incredulity at how he could have left his sister in such conditions. A plea agreement called for him to serve between five and 10 years in prison.

Prosecutor Cornelius Kelly argued that Gauvin should spend the full 10 years in prison. The Courant reported that Kelly said, “The value of her life in the eyes of Mr. Gauvin was zero.”

Police have said Gauvin was responsible for his sister’s care and his motive was apparently related to a desire not to lose the house.