Appalling: Parents jailed for neglecting 12 year old son so badly in a unfit home he went BLIND – – Our News, Your Views

Appalling: Parents jailed for neglecting 12 year old son so badly in a unfit home he went BLIND


A couple in the UK have been jailed for neglecting their 12 year old son so badly that he went blind. Idle Gillian Hendry and Craig Dick, both 34, are believed to have kept their children a 12-year-old boy and his two-year-old sister in a unfit home which was described as a  filthy, stinking, fly-infested house in Thornaby.

The young boy is understood to have went blind in his left eye from cataracts because his parents failed to take him for hospital appointments that could have possibly saved his sight. The unnamed boy also became increasingly crippled with arthritis, until his doctors called in social services so they could give him the treatment he desperately needed.

According to reports it is believed that social workers went to the house on 21 August last year but the couple refused to let them inside. The social workers then returned with the police officers who were shocked and saddened by what they had found, prosecutor David Crook told Teesside Crown Court.

The couple who were claiming social welfare benefits in Teesdale Terrace, Thornaby, were unkempt, and the boy’s eye was white and he said that he could not see out of it. He went upstairs and came back with his sister who he placed in a high chair.

The court was also told that the staircase was dirty, with trodden-in food and bin bags stuffed with dirty nappies. The toddlers cot had a damp and mouldy mattress. The judge said that the cruelty towards her was that she had been kept in dreadful conditions. The kitchen was dirty and infested with flies, and upstairs the toilet and bath were filthy, and the bath was filled with cold dirty water. A bedroom had been used as a toilet, and the children’s beds had filthy mattresses and no covers.

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Although the couple’s bedroom by contrast was considered relatively tidy, but they claimed that they slept downstairs. The children were immediately taken into care. The young boy now lives with his natural father, and the girl, who was fathered by Dick, is now available for adoption.

Lawyers speaking for the couple said they were highly unlikely to have the care of any children again. Peter Wishlade, defending the mother, said the only reason she could give was depression, which was unsupported by any medical evidence.

Mr Wishlade said: “Other than that, I don’t know how this has happened, I cannot give any explanation. “It is correct to say that she had indicated to a nurse at the RVI that she had let everything slip because she felt depressed.”

Jim Withyman, defending Dick, said that he was an inadequate man who could not even take care of his own personal hygiene. He said: “There is a deficiency in him by allowing his children to live in such appalling conditions. “He will not appear before the courts again providing that he is not looking after children.”

Judge Howard Crowson, who was shown police photographs of the house, told the couple that: “The conditions we have seen in the photographs are appalling. “I feel this was was inadequacy rather than a deliberate attempt to cause harm to either child. “Your own bedroom was noticeably clean although you claimed not to use it.”

Hendry was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, whilst Dick was sentenced to two years and two months in prison after they pleaded guilty to two charges of child neglect

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