WARNING - DISTRESSING CONTENT: The home was found littered with heroin needles, rotting food and infestations of flies when social services and the p
Neglected boy, 7, found living in 'rubbish tip' home with no toys fit to play with

Neglected boy, 7, found living in 'rubbish tip' home with no toys fit to play with

Neglected boy, 7, found living in 'rubbish tip' home with no toys fit to play with

Neglected boy, 7, found living in 'rubbish tip' home with no toys fit to play with

Neglected boy, 7, found living in 'rubbish tip' home with no toys fit to play with

Neglected boy, 7, found living in 'rubbish tip' home with no toys fit to play with
Neglected boy, 7, found living in 'rubbish tip' home with no toys fit to play with
  • 2020-01-14 17:25:07 10 days ago
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A neglected seven-year-old boy was found living in a home that resembled a rubbish tip, alongside his drug addict parents.

The home was found littered with heroin needles, rotting food and infestations of flies when social services and the police arrived.

Leicester Crown Court heard the youngster had vanished off the local authority's radar after moving schools - despite not showing up to school for six months, reports Leicestershire Live.

Alexander Wolfson, prosecuting, said there was a multi-agency meeting in December 2018, before the police attended an address in Leicester and found it to be in "absolute squalor."

He said: "The conditions were disgusting, with rotting food and piles of rubbish everywhere.

"The bedrooms, lounge and bathroom were filthy.

"The kitchen was rancid with a couple of tins of food left open and evidence of mouse droppings.

"The stove was inaccessible, there was mouldy food in the fridge and it was difficult to move around.

"Unfortunately drugs paraphernalia was lying about; items associated with taking heroin, with uncapped needles.

"Cigarette ash was evident and flies. Bags of rubbish were on the upstairs landing.

"When a drawer in the boy's bedroom cupboard was opened "a cloud of flies flew into the air," said the prosecutor."

He added: "There were faeces marks across a wall.

"The toilet was filthy with no evidence of a toothbrush or toothpaste in the bathroom.

"The child didn't appear to have a change of clothes and didn't have pyjamas.

"He was not wearing underwear or socks."

He did not appear to have toys fit to play with.

The boy told officers he had eaten "some cookies" during the day, but did not appear to have had anything else.

The foster parents he was placed with reported that he did not want to wash, brush his teeth or have his hair washed and was "terrified of flies."

He was "always hungry" and had difficulty understanding the difference between day and night.

He had not been registered with a GP and needed medication for worms.

The child was placed in school and assessed as being two years behind.

However, he did not appear to be malnourished or to have any other medical issues.

Mr Wolfsen said the child said he had played on an XBox a lot when living with his parents.

He ate bread and butter with ketchup and played with the toaster in his father's bedroom - and went to bed when he liked.

When interviewed, the father said multiple bereavements had left him unable to cope, and he went into a drug-induced downward spiral.

The mother accepted the house was in a poor condition saying she only lived there because she had "nowhere else."

Both parents, who are not being named because of a court order protecting the boy's identity, pleaded guilty to an offence of child cruelty by neglect.

Mr Wolfsen said: "He's been doing well in short-term foster care and will be placed into long-term foster care.

"He has a bright future ahead of him.

"He's desperate to see his mum and dad and is described as being fiercely loyal to them - and asks about them.

"They are having supervised contact with him."

The distressed mother wept in the dock during the hearing.

Judge Ebraham Mooncey said: "This is a difficult sentencing exercise.

"When it involves an innocent child who has clearly suffered, anyone's instincts would be to mete the harshest penalties on those responsible.

"One has to look at the facts and the circumstances."

He told the parents: "The prosecutor tells me you've had contact with your son and he's expressed a desire to continue contact with you and that he loves you both.

"He's fiercely loyal to both of you.

"He obviously now has a bright future and the hardship he's suffered is potentially something that can be put behind him.

"I'm dealing with two people who weren't, by any measure, capable of looking after a child.

"I've been given details about what led to this awful situation arising.

"Both of you, historically, have drug problems and that's affected the way you live your lives."

The court heard that one of the child's grandparents had been actively involved in helping to properly care for the boy at a different address, but when she died he ended up living elsewhere with his parents.

Other deaths in the family led to his father relapsing into former class A drug addiction.

The judge said: "The photographs of the house speak for themselves.

"Some of the rooms look like rubbish tips.

"Heroin needles were around, there was rotten food and flies.

"A police officer says, in his statement, he retched and almost threw up when he went into the house.

"It's very fortunate the child has made a full recovery.

"This wasn't evil out-and-out cruelty.

"The parents are themselves incapable and inadequate.

"There are positive measures now in their lives, in the sense of dealing with their addictions."

Philip Gibbs, mitigating for the father, who is in his 40s, said: "The defendant loves his son.

"It's clear from the photographs he failed in his duty to care for his son.

"He says prior to moving there the boy was perfectly looked after.

"The father, who had been clean of drugs for several years before relapsing, disagreed with some of the prosecution claims, saying the boy was given baths but had an aversion to bathing.

He was taken out, he was also fed - as there was evidence of cereal boxes and take-aways.

The boy had been taught how to use a knife and fork, it was claimed.

He and the child's mother accept they "struggled" to maintain the house, said Mr Gibbs.

The father claimed he did not seek help for fear of having his son taken away.

Mr Gibbs said: "He apologises to his son over and above all else.

"They have supervised contact and the bond remains.

"The child loves his dad and his mum - it's a human tragedy.

"It's alarming a child can disappear out of the school system for that length of time.

"The boy went into foster case without any real medical concerns and has thrived."

Paul Prior, mitigating for the mother, who is in her 30s, said: "Her supervised contact with her son is described as positive and ongoing.

"She's been full and frank about her failings.

"She understands she's not capable of looking after him.

"She knows she should have done an awful lot better but as a result of her class A drug addiction she couldn't.

"She's deeply remorseful and deeply motivated to be a mother that her son can, one day, be proud of."

Mr Prior said she regretted failing to arrange schooling with the local council.

She feared her son's mental health would be affected.

The barrister quoted her as telling him: "I only wanted to be a decent mum, I have no excuse.

"He's the only thing I wake up for.

"He's perfect and I've let him down.

"He's the only good thing I've done with my life."

The parents were each given 10 month jail sentences, suspended for 18 months, with one year of drug rehabilitation.

Both were placed on three month home curfews, at separate addresses, between 10pm and 6am.

The father was ordered to attend 15 days of rehabilitation activity.   

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Neglected boy, 7, found living in 'rubbish tip' home with no toys fit to play with

Jennifer Zamparelli 'cried for 25 minutes' before hosting Sunday's Danicng with the Stars

Jennifer Zamparelli 'cried for 25 minutes' before hosting Sunday's Danicng with the Stars

Jennifer Zamparelli has told how she sobbed crying shortly before going live on TV after her two-year old son smashed his face and lost his front tooth.

The Dancing with the Stars host was dealt another blow less than 24 hours later when her five year old daughter fell down the stairs and broke her elbow.

And on Monday, Jen told her 2FM listeners that she cried for twenty five minutes before going live on air to present the second show of this season’s Dancing with the Stars on RTE One.

She said: “My two year old fell and smashed his face and lost his tooth.

“Gone completely gone, he’s going to be two on Friday and he looks like a pirate.

“I cried solidly for twenty five minutes before I went on [TV] and it was horrific.

Dancing With The Stars 2020: Presenter Jennifer Zamparelli during the first live show

“But I got over it, it was fine and then yesterday morning my young one fell down the stairs and broke her elbow and is now in a cast.

“It happened I think an hour before I went live on Sunday on Dancing with the Stars.

“And every time he smiles I want to cry because I miss his little tooth, I miss it so much.”

The 39-year old is mum to Florence, five, and Lorenzo, two, and said she felt guilty for not being able to be with her son after his accident on Sunday.

She told her 2FM listeners: “Apparently she’s going to be in a cast for around six weeks but to be honest I’m more worried about the tooth because he’ll be toothless until he’s eight.

Jennifer Zamparelli

“He was fine but I was so upset.

“On Sunday it was just the guilt of not being able to go to him just was horrendous.”

The Dublin funny woman jokingly asked listeners not to call social services following their unfortunate events.

She said: “So now he’s called pirate Pedro and she’s the one armed bandit and to look at my kids, please don’t call social services.

“We do look after them although to look at them might not look like that but we do love them and it wasn’t our fault and the guilt is enough but these things happen.”

How to follow the Irish Mirror on social media

You can like our main Facebook page here.

Our Irish Mirror Sports page - which brings you all your Irish and UK sports news - can be found here.

You can also check out our Irish Mirror GAA sports page.

The Irish Mirror Twitter account is @IrishMirror while our sports account is @MirrorSportIE.

Our Instagram account can be found here.

Man Utd 'seal £64m transfer' for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly

Man Utd 'seal £64m transfer' for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly

Manchester United have reportedly completed a deal to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly in a deal worth just over £60m.

Koulibaly has also been linked with the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal , but according to reports in Italy United have swooped quickly and stolen a march on their Premier League rivals.

The 28-year-old is not expected to join until the summer, but his presence would give United a huge boost at the back, with the Senegalese international one of the most sought-after defenders in European football.

Italian journalist Fabio Santini broke the news, and speaking on the TV show Il Processo he said: "Napoli will sell Kalidou Koulibaly to Manchester United for a figure of around 70-75m euros. It seems all done.

The signing of Kalidou Koulibaly would be an exciting one for Manchester United

"Naturally, such a deal will be closed only in June and certainly not in January in the winter transfer window."

The signing would be the second time United have shelled out big money on a centre-back within a year, with Harry Maguire joining from Leicester City for £80m last summer.

The capture of Koulibaly is sure to be a hugely popular deal with United fans, who have been crying out for another world-class centre-back to join Maguire and help an often-leaky defence.

Koulibaly has been at Napoli since signing from Genk in 2014 and immediately established himself as an ever-present in the team, impressing in both Serie A and the Champions League for the Italian club.

Koulibaly in action against Liverpool

He insisted last year that he was happy in Naples, however, and took to Twitter to say: "My children were born here. Here, I grew up as a man and as a football player. Here, my children and I feel at home."

But Napoli are said to be struggling financially, which may explain why they are willing to let their star player leave.

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