Two malnourished children were taken into care after production staff on ITV's The Jeremy Kyle Show tipped off police over fears their parents were neglecting them.

The man and woman, 26 and 23, who were guests on the discussion show last February had left the children, with staff at the studios in Manchester, while they filmed a sequence for the programme.

Members of the production team became concerned on seeing the children, both of whom were under the age of two.

Staff reported that the children smelled strongly of urine and faeces, even though their nappies were not soiled. They had bruises on their face and were described as "unresponsive, emotionally vacant, dirty and unkempt".

The day after the filming of the TV show, police and social workers who had been contacted by the team regarding claims of child neglect, swooped on the couple's home in Coventry.

On arrival, the authorities found the house was cold and in disarray, with dirty clothes strewn over the furniture and faeces stains on the carpets.

Coventry Crown Court was told that the mother disappeared upstairs where she was found changing the nappy of the older child whose legs and feet were covered in faeces. She attempted to clean the child with baby wipes.

The woman, who was heavily pregnant at the time, is the biological parent of both children.

The mother and her boyfriend were interviewed by police, with both claiming the state of the house was a one off.

Describing the children's telling behavioural patterns, Peter Cooper, prosecuting, had earlier told the court: "A report from the foster carer describes how they were seen eating, gulping food down quickly like little animals, almost feral.

"She noticed them banging their heads on the floor and wall but that subsided during their stay with her. By the time of her statement, when nine months had gone by, the only time they would behave that way was after contact with their mother."

Judge Philip Gregory condemned the children's overweight parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, saying: "Looking at these two defendants it didn't look like they were stingy with their own portions - they're both well nourished to say the least."

Addressing the couple, the judge said: "You had the care of two very young and vulnerable children. This was an enormous privilege.

You were responsible to discharge that care carefully and properly so that these two children were well looked after, properly fed, kept warm and kept clean.

"Over a period of at least two months you failed immeasurably to fulfil that responsibility to these two children. As a consequence your home was visited and was found to be, quite frankly, disgusting.

"The two children were not properly clothed, you had let them get too cold, you hadn't fed them properly and you hadn't washed them. You were both feeding yourselves more than enough but when these two children went to foster care they were seen to eat like animals.

"You only have to set out this history to see how appallingly let down by you these two children were. What matters most is that these two young children are placed in a caring home where they have got a decent future removed from you.

"Should you have any more children the first people in your home will be Coventry social services."

Both children are now in the care of adoptive parents and will in the future be subject to an adoption order.

The pair's biological child, born a few weeks after the visit from police and social services, is in the care of the man's mother.

The parents were given 12-month prison sentences suspended for two years and were given 18-month supervision orders.

The judge praised the "conscientious" staff working behind the scenes on The Jeremy Kyle Show for alerting the authorities after spotting signs of neglect.

Host of the TV show Jeremy Kyle also praised staff saying: "The welfare of all our guests has always been paramount to the Jeremy Kyle show. This is such a tragic story but I'm pleased we were able to assist in getting these children into a safe environment."

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