Parents taken to court for making children live in filth

The kitchen
The kitchen

THESE are the horrendous and dangerous scenes of squalor a Hartlepool mum and dad subjected their two young children to.

The youngsters were in the house when officials discovered the shocking state of their parents’ home.

A magistrate who heard the case said he was “startled” after seeing the pictures of the property and added he had never seen conditions like them before.

Broken furniture, clothes and clutter covered floors and the kitchen was piled high with dirty dishes and surfaces covered in grime.

The children were forced to sleep together in a single bed because another bed lay in a broken heap.

Police launched an investigation after the mum failed to meet the children from school.

Both parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were charged with child neglect which they admitted before Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court.

Justices said they were shocked at the state of the house and said they had never seen such scenes.

Guy Prest, prosecuting, said: “On entering police found the house where the children lived was in such a state of disarray it patently exposed the young children to risk of harm.”

A mirror on the stairs, which was broken during a row between the parents, had also not been cleared.

Mr Prest added: “It was acknowledged by the mother she hadn’t removed that debris because she couldn’t be bothered with anything.

“She said she hadn’t been upstairs for sometime and really didn’t know what was going on upstairs.

“However, she obviously knew it was in a state of disarray and said both she and the children had tripped up over various items strewn around.”

The mum told police she was suffering from depression and had a gambling problem.

She was reluctant to cook and relied mainly on takeaways, Pot Noodles and bread.

The dad admitted to cops he could have done more. But worryingly, he said he did not think the mess was a danger saying “kids know what’s dangerous.”

Neil Taylor, mitigating, for the parents conceded the state of the house was “appalling” but said they had accepted full responsibility.

He said: “These are two people who have held their hands up to their wrong doing very quickly and are trying to rehabilitate themselves.

“They are both remorseful for what they did but they both understand the issues now and their only concern is to prove themselves to social services.”

Both parents were given one-year community orders with supervision and ordered to pay £170 costs.

Chairman of the bench Tony Raine said: “Our primary concern in this matter are the two children.

“The bench is startled at the condition of the property. We have not seen such conditions in our experience before.

“People are trying to help you from now on.

“Unless you fully and totally comply with the various authorities involved, and if you breach the order, a far more serious view will be taken of the breach.”