Child was housed in filthy conditions, court told — (Daily Record)

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Daily Record

By Dailyrecord.co.uk

A toddler was kept in filthy and squalid conditions in a flat on a housing estate for more than four months.

Perth Sheriff Court was told that a health visitor and a social worker uncovered a catalogue of failings on the part of his 20-year-old mother, who now lives in Crieff.

The woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, left the youngster in a dirty and rubbish-filled house. Also, the boy was left to sleep on wet, dirty and mouldy bedding and didn’t have sufficient clothing.

Making matters worse, there wasn’t enough food in the property – which had inadequate heating – its fridge was filthy and food was left abandoned on worktops.

The accused was spared a jail sentence and instead was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work as part of a Community Payback Order.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told her: “Over a period of four months, the only description is one of complete neglect as far as your son is concerned. You totally failed in your duties as a parent.”

The woman admitted neglecting the child, who was aged between 15 and 19 months at the time, from September 4, 2011, to January 17, 2012.

Part of the charge which alleged that she failed to attend at doctor and social work appointments with regard to the child’s welfare was deleted.

Depute fiscal Rebecca Kynaston said that a police officer who had been called to a domestic incident at the house on September 4, 2011, first raised the alarm and filed a child concern report.

An electrician carrying out work in the property on October 10 that year also had worries about the conditions. After the initial report, a health visitor, social workers and a council housing officer made a number of visits to the home.

A number of follow-up visits took place and additional support for the child was discussed.

In January 2012 the child was removed from the accused’s care and she “voluntarily” handed him over to social workers. He was initially put in foster care.

Solicitor Linda Clark said a background report indicated the accused was “ill-prepared” for the responsibility of being a parent.

The woman, who suffered from post-natal depression and is still on anti-depressants, had no family support in the immediate area.

Her relationship with the boy’s father had broken down more or less after the pregnancy.

However, she had, on a voluntary basis, agreed that the child should stay with the biological father starting last summer.

Sheriff Foulis told the accused it was “a serious offence” and the unpaid work was as an alternative to custody.