Two parents who allowed their six daughters to live in a house full of filth with used diapers, dog poop and dead mice released the court on Friday, November 12th.
The Wirral couple, who admitted child cruelty, could not be named because of reporting restrictions to protect the identity of their children, reports the Liverpool echo.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that police had been called into an argument between them earlier this year.
Describing the appearance of the house, Judge Andrew Menary said it looked like “the dirty contents of a container have been emptied in every room”.
However, he added that imprisoning the couple would have detrimental effects on two children over 16 who are now back in their mother’s care, while the younger four may not be returned to her “for a very long time, if at all” could.
Judge Menary said, “In all honesty, nothing can have prepared the officers for what they would find.”
To say the house is “uninhabitable” would underestimate the “appalling conditions,” he continued.
“Without wanting to be graphical for no reason, the photos I have seen by the police show rooms that look as if the dirty contents of a container have been emptied in each room.
“There really are no words to describe it.
“There was mouse droppings and dead mice all over the house. The bathroom wasn’t working properly and the toilets were absolutely gross.
“There was no semblance or possibility of any activity that resembled normal, healthy family life.”
Judge Menary added that the family dog ”unbelievably” had “reins” and “apparently used every room as a toilet.”
Trevor Parry-Jones, prosecutor, previously outlined how the house “was more reminiscent of the Victorian slum era”.
He said officials called for help, evacuated the children and asked for food and clean clothes before the victims were taken into custody.
Judge Menary requested a report from the Wirral Council on the well-being of the girls and what measures had been taken to protect them – after it was found that social services had been made aware of problems in the house a decade ago.
After reading it, he said there had been “extensive, targeted interventions by social services” and other agencies.
Caregivers, meanwhile, described the four younger children as having arrived with “solid dirt” and complained that they had not eaten because there was nothing to eat at home.
It was also found that the parents had neglected to get medical help for one of the children with vision problems.
Mr Parry-Jones said the children were well behaved and polite, but all had “an educational level well below the expected goals”.
He said the parents were punished for their children’s “sporadic” school attendance while the youngest was out of kindergarten, had no routine and spent days with her father, who had alcohol problems, while the mother was at work.
When she was arrested, the father accepted that conditions in the house were “very bad” but claimed that he had cleaned about a month earlier, while the mother confessed that the toilet had “not been used for years,” adding that only takeaway was eaten, the house was “hideous” and she would let it come that way.
In the mother’s defense, Christopher McMaster said photos showed that she has since done work on the home renovation.
Judge Menary said, “The question arises why it wasn’t done sooner.”
Mr McMaster said she worked very long six days a week, but that number has recently dropped to four.
The court heard how the parents had now separated and the mother’s long-term goal was to get all of her children back.
A report before the sentence stated that she “loves her children and is emotionally invested in their care” but “it appears that she has been too engaged to the detriment of the children and their well-being”.
Regarding the council report, Frank Dillon, who defended the father, said, “I still say there have been some missed opportunities. It was said back in 2013 that this property was in extremely poor shape.”
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