Brisbane mother jailed for child cruelty after toddlers found covered in faeces and living in squalor
- Category: Child Protection Queensland media and newspaper articles
- Created: Tuesday, 29 March 2016 22:17
- Written by ABC
A Brisbane mother whose children were left unsupervised in faecal-covered squalor has been sent to prison.
The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to four charges of cruelty and negligence in the Brisbane's District Court.
She broke down in tears as she was sentenced to 12 months' jail.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will spend at least four months behind bars.
The court heard that neighbours called police in May 2014 after the woman's two-year-old was seen standing naked on a window sill one morning.
He was screaming as he banged against the glass.
The court was told the then-20-year-old single mother arrived home in a taxi before police could arrive, wearing a black dress and high heels, with her hair and make-up done.
She lied to police, saying the children had been supervised by family.
Prosecutor Caroline Marco said neighbours called police the next day again after the dirty and naked toddler was screaming at the window for hours.
Examination found children had developmental problems
Ms Marco said when police arrived, the four-year-old answered the door covered in faeces and wearing only a soiled nappy.
Officers forced their way inside when the child was unable to open the security screen.
The court heard the mother was asleep in the bedroom when officers arrived.
The house was filled with bags of rotting garbage, with food and faeces on the ground in the kitchen and the children's urine-soaked mattresses had no bedding.
Ms Marco said the mother was hostile towards the officers but complied with their order to bath the children.
She dressed them in dirty clothes because there were no clean ones available.
The court heard medical examinations revealed both children were suffering from chronic diarrhoea.
They had disturbed eating behaviours, including eating off the floor and were experiencing delays in their development.
Defence lawyer Catherine Cuthbert said the mother did not have a mental illness at the time of the offending but remained psychologically vulnerable.
She was now being treated for anxiety and depression.
Justice Tony Moynihan said leaving the children in unhygienic conditions when the mother had capacity to care for them was "cruel".
Both children are in the care of their maternal grandmother and the Department of Child Protection is working towards reunification with the mother.
AAP Source : http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-29/mum-jailed-for-child-cruelty-brisbane/7282792