Two children were abandoned by their mum and left to live in squalor for up to a year, a court heard.Good grief!
When the youngsters were discovered, the house was full of mouldy saucepans containing rotten food, half full wine bottles, animal excrement, rotting mattresses stained with animal urine and torn wallpaper. Although it is not known how long the children were left on their own, it could have been going on for up to a year, a court was told.
Outrageous! She should be horsewhipped! And then...
Wait. 'Youngsters'? Just how old were these children?
The teenagers, aged 14 and 15 at the time...…
Teenagers? You mean, we aren’t talking three/four-year-olds here?
… were found by ambulance crews in conditions described as “utterly squalid”, while their 42-year-old mother was living 15 minutes away with her boyfriend, the court heard.I don’t care if she was living 15 miles away, they are old enough to take care of themselves, surely? OK, abandoning them is illegal, she should rightly be castigated for that, but blaming her for the conditions of the house while they are (technically) capable of keeping it – and themselves – clean is not quite cricket.
Judge Richard Price said: “She abandoned her children leaving them quite literally to wallow in their own filth.” Describing the defendant as callous and cruel, he added: “You don’t seem to understand the long term psychological damage you have done to these children. “You cannot have failed to see the mess that the house was in, you couldn’t fail to appreciate how dangerous that was, you couldn’t have failed to appreciate how your children were suffering – what did you do about that? Nothing.”Indeed. Just as, it seems, these ‘children’ themselves did…nothing.
Maybe they aren’t legally culpable, but (absent any mental retardation) they aren’t totally helpless either.
Chris Stopa, mitigating, said any requests with the children to do something got no response and the defendant had no help from the children’s father. “What she did was distance herself from what was going on at the house because it was too difficult to deal with – that of course shouldn’t happen, she now understands that. She would come back and check what the position was, as it got worse and worse her ability to do anything about it became less and less.”Absent father, mother with ‘issues’. This is getting better and better. How about drink and/or drugs?
The defendant was suffering with depression and there was a suggestion that she had been drinking a lot.There we have it!
But that doesn’t explain why a story that seems to be about the utter helplessness and dependency of ‘children’ turns out not to actually be about children as any normal adult would perceive them, does it?