Parents who left children to live in squalid conditions for two years avoid jail
PARENTS who left their children to live in squalid conditions for two years, in a house piled knee-high with rubbish and dog mess, have avoided jail.
When police forced their way into the couple's west Swansea home, on December 11, the parents were at a nearby pub.
Officers found debris on almost every floor in the house, with some rubbish piled knee high. Dog mess was found littered on "virtually every surface," Swansea Magistrates' Court heard.
There was little food in the cupboards and the fridge. The three children's beds were "ingrained" with dirt.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
The family dog was roaming free and there was no sign of any food or water provided for the animal, but pans with remnants of mouldy food, were on top of its kennel.
A police officer called the bathroom "unsanitary".
The parents, who cannot be named to protect their children, were arrested after an anonymous tip-off to police. They later admitted a charge of child neglect.
As they sat on a "filthy" sofa, the children begged officers not to take them away from their parents, prosecutor Julie Sullivan said.
After his arrest, the children's father told police: "I was disgusted in myself."
He told police he believed both he and his partner were suffering from depression.
The court was told the father had taken the children to their grandparents for meals each day and had taken responsibility for feeding the children and making sure they arrived at school each day before he went to work.
"The reality is that he didn't have the time or the energy from carrying out his daily routine to even look at the house when it had come to be in this state of disrepair," his solicitor Rachel Eli-Melech said.
In her police interview, the children's mother said the house been in the same condition for two years and said she found it difficult to ask for help "because she was embarrassed".
Mrs Eli-Melech, representing both adults, handed in photographs showing the pair had now gutted the house.
"Both have shown genuine remorse throughout," she said.
Both parents were given four month terms, suspended for 18 months.
And both were ordered to complete 200 hours' unpaid work and told to pay £160 each.
Chairwoman Barbara Lewis said: "The seriousness of the conditions which you condemned your children to live in are such that no child should ever have to endure.
"Your duties as parents are to protect your children and not to allow them to live in squalor. In this, you have failed.
"However, our upmost duty is to your children and while we feel immediate custody is the most appropriate sentence for you, we feel it would not be the most appropriate for your children."