A young boy has been rescued from his parents’ filthy home which a child protection officer described as the worst conditions she had ever seen “for humans or animals”.
The lad was found to be sleeping in urine-stained bedding and the property in Plymouth, Devon, was strewn with rubbish and cat mess.
Now the youngster’s mother, father and grandmother have admitted neglect and been given suspended prison sentences at Plymouth Crown Court.
The little boy has now been taken away from his family and will be put up for adoption.
Judge Paul Darlow was shown photographs from the boy’s home, which an officer said was full of flies – even in January.
He said: “It is quite obvious you were unable to look after yourself and your home, let alone another sentient, living being.”
DC Kate Hillman, from Devon and Cornwall Police’s child protection team, said after the case: “These are the worst living conditions I have seen in 22 years of service.
“I have never seen living conditions like this for any human being or even animal.”
She said the boy’s bedding was stained with urine and there was cat mess in the kitchen.
The bathroom, she added, was filled with rubbish and bicycles.
Kelly Scrivener, prosecuting, said the alarm was raised by the boy’s school after he showed up with bruising on his face in January.
Miss Scrivener said the explanation given to staff was that he had hit his head on a door knob, which she said was possible.
But she added the injury was reported to police who gained access to the home.
She said: “His school was concerned about his lack of progress, his personal hygiene and his unkempt appearance.
“On many occasions, staff tried to engage these defendants with their concerns.
“They wilfully and persistently rejected help from the school and other authorities.”
The judge said he accepted all three defendants loved the little boy.
He said: “What we are dealing here is no suggestion of sadistic treatment or of deliberate maltreatment, but one of neglect – neglect born of your own inadequacies.”
He gave each of the defendants, who are not being named for legal reasons, 12-month prison sentences, suspended for two years.
The father has a 16-week curfew.