Horrifying photos show a house of horrors where six children lived in conditions like a “Victorian slum”.
The “disgusting” Wirral home had no running water and was covered in dog dirt, mouse droppings and used nappies.
One of the neglected children later said “no one should be living there” as it emerged social services were first made aware of problems at the house 10 years ago.
The kids’ mum and dad, who both admitted child cruelty, will be sentenced in November, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that police entered the house earlier this year after being called to an altercation between the couple.
Trevor Parry-Jones, prosecuting, said: “What they were confronted with could only be described as a scene of unutterable squalor, more reminiscent of the Victorian slum era than the 21st century.”
He said rubbish was “strewn” throughout the house, the children’s bunk beds and bedrooms were “disgusting”, and “dog faeces abounded” on both floors.
He said: “The bathroom was unusable, the toilet filthy, not having been cleaned for some considerable time, and there was a rodent infestation.”
Officers called for help, evacuated the children and asked another patrol to bring food, clean clothing and new nappies. Both parents were taken into custody and interrogated.
The dad accepted conditions in the house were “very bad” and the children “could have got hurt”, but claimed he had cleaned up about a month previously.
The mum – who like her partner said she worked “very long hours” – confessed the bathroom hadn’t been used “for years”. They had a large dog and only took out food.
Photos shown in court included one of a bedroom in a “complete mess”, with discarded tins, plastic trays and wrappers. A second photograph showed bleach bottles and dog faeces lying on the ground.
School uniforms were stored in a room with plastic bottles, bags filled with rubbish, and Pot Noodle containers.
Mr Parry-Jones said: “The officers indicated that used and soiled nappies abounded in the house – they were just discarded anywhere.” The prosecutor described the bathroom as “filthy and disgusting” and noted “rodent droppings”.
He said: “The bath again is almost unbelievable in the condition. It’s been used as a refuse tip.”
The court heard the entrance hallway was full of rubbish and the kitchen was “trashed”, with a washing machine door missing and the floor covered in the remains of takeaways and mouse droppings.
The living room had no carpet and the floor was again covered in waste, as were the stairs, causing a trip and “fire risk”, while dangerous plug sockets had “burned out”.
Mr Parry-Jones said the children’s bedrooms were “filthy” and in one drawer could be seen “one of the rodents that caused the droppings, dead inside”.
He read a statement from one of the children, who said the house was “an absolute dump” and “not fit to be lived in”.
The victim said there was no running water, rubbish everywhere and “dog poo all over the place”, which was “disgusting”. He said the house had been like this “for a long time” and “no one should be living there”.
The victim said: “I would say both my parents are to blame for these conditions. We just need help.”
Mr Parry-Jones said neither of the parents – who both had previous convictions – had sought assistance, despite knowing the house was “dangerous”, “insanitary” and “a real health risk to each of the children”.
He said the children had been taken into “interim care”, but “some might be extremely surprised” to hear the authorities had been involved and concerns raised “for many years”.
The court heard checks were first made in 2010 about the state of the house, and when police attended in 2013 they described it as “unhygienic and dirty”, which was “conveyed to the authorities”.
The charity Catch 22 described the house as “very poor” in 2015; when police visited the premises in 2017 because some of the children were not attending school they said it was “not dirty but poor”; and following two visits in 2018 “police expressed concern to social services about the living conditions”.
Although a child social worker visited the home, he did not consider the situation urgently needing intervention. However, officers were again called to the house by the disturbances of 2018.
Mr Parry-Jones said: “The inference is the children have been brought up in absolutely appalling conditions and it must have had an impact upon them.”
He said it wasn’t clear “how they do schoolwork, how they do anything, how they survive”.
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Judge Andrew Menary, QC said that he had not been given any evidence regarding the impact on children. He also requested information about each child’s condition when they were taken in care, whether or not they had suffered psychological or physical harm, and how it affected their lives.
Christopher McMaster, defending the mum, said at one stage social services working with Catch 22 had offered support “but the funding was cut and the support was taken away”.
Frank Dillon, defending the dad, accepted the way the conditions in the house had been described but said: “The other side of that coin is how can statutory systems, which are supposed to intervene in these circumstances, so fail these children?”
The judge ordered welfare reports on all of the children.
He said these must provide details of the contact social services had with the family over the years, including “whether the lack of long term involvement has been due to a failure on the part of the parents to cooperate, or an assessment at the time that it wasn’t necessary”.