Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cruel Couple Who Kept Kids in Filthy House Sent to Jail

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cruel Couple Who Kept Kids in Filthy House Sent to Jail

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sara Wallis

These filth-encrusted and rubbish-strewn rooms were home to one Tyneside family.

But today the two parents are behind bars for forcing their three children to live in such squalor.

When police broke in, one under-fed child with matted hair was found cowering in a corner of the house not covered in rubbish.

Social services and child protection officers, horrified by the state of the house in Fenham, Newcastle, described it as the worst case they had ever seen.

Both parents, who cannot be named, were each jailed for four months after being convicted at Newcastle Magistrates' Court of causing unnecessary suffering to three children, aged four, 12 and 16 .

The harrowing case came to light when social services contacted the family because of the children's non-attendance at school. Council officers tried to arrange visits to the family but could get no response. When officers eventually got into the house with police help they found the floors covered in filthy clothes and bags of rubbish.

In a bedroom there was a bed without a mattress lying on rubbish filled bags.

The house was padlocked on the inside and the only way in at the back was by climbing up a telegraph pole and leaning through glass on a window sill. There was no bedding and all the mattresses were caked in dirt.

The children have now been placed in the care of relatives.

Debbie McArdle, prosecuting, told the court: "Police officers said they were the worst conditions they had ever seen.

"Entry was forced and the door would not open fully. The father was inside and he tripped over because of all the clutter on the floor.

"There were clothes everywhere and electrical junk. The officers said they couldn't walk on the floor and had to stand on rubbish.

"They found a 2ft-square space clear of rubbish where one of the sons was sitting. …

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