- Girl lived in squalor in house stinking of urine
- Officers found overflowing ashtrays, drug paraphernalia – and blood-stained duvet
- ‘Disgusted’ judge allows mother to WALK FREE from court – on girl’s request
These are the scenes of squalor which greeted police when they arrived to rescue a young girl from neglectful and abusive parents.
Teesside Crown Court heard how police were called after the girl tearfully told teachers her mother had kicked her leg three times, and showed them bruises on her hip.
When police visited the house, in Middlesbrough, they found it stinking of urine, with cat faeces on the floor and overflowing ashtrays, takeaway cartons, cans and drug items lying about – and a blood-stained duvet in the child’s bedroom.
However, despite the cruelty meted out to the child, the mother has been allowed to walk free from court today – for the sake of the child.
Scene of squalor: The girl was brought up in this mess in Middlesbrough, Teesside. Her parents were sentenced at Teesside Crown Court
The young girl’s mother and step-father were each given a one-year custodial sentence on Friday, but Judge Tony Briggs suspended the mother’s sentence for two years with 18 months’ supervision, as the girl still wanted contact with her mother.
The stepfather was sent to detention.
Prosecutor Aisha Wadoodi said the pair admitted keeping their home in a state which provided inadequate living conditions for the child.
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The stepfather admitted smoking cannabis in front of the girl and smacking her bottom on one occasion.
He denied, but was convicted of, two cruelty counts relating to squeezing the girl over her clothing.
The mum denied kicking her daughter. A jury convicted her of assault causing actual bodily harm.
The court was told how the girl was in a ‘terrible state’ and psychologically troubled when first taken out of the couple’s care.
She had made good progress since and gained confidence and self esteem and was now much happier.
None of the family’s names or ages can be given out for legal reasons.
Filthy bedroom: The girl’s room shows the squalor the girl lived in before care-workers got involved
Ian Mullarkey, defending the stepfather, said he was young, immature, had no previous experience of caring for a child and made serious misjudgments.
Now he wanted to gain skills for a productive future.
Kate Dodds, defending the mother, said: ‘She’s lost her child though her own fault. She has lost everything.’
She said the court’s punishment was nothing compared to her daughter never returning to her care.
She had a tragic history of having children removed from her care for neglect.
The victim stayed in her care despite the background because of significant improvements in the mother’s parenting skills.
Things went wrong with the arrival of the stepfather, who was once convicted of assaulting the mother – yet they are still together.
The mother still has contact with her daughter and was ‘horrified and scared’ of the idea of the girl visiting her in prison, added Miss Dodds.
Miss Dodds said: ‘Whatever punishment is handed down, nothing compares to the fact she can never have her daughter in her care.’
Judge Briggs told the two: ‘No one who heard this trial could fail to be disgusted by the treatment of [the girl]. There was considerable neglect.
‘Physically things occurred to her that were clearly totally unjustifiable.’
He said it appeared the girl had ‘completely changed’ since she left their care and what happened to her would not be tolerated again.