Police in Wales had to step in to ensure the safety of a schoolboy in Pembrokeshire. The child was found living in a derelict home where he was reportedly left starving on a regular basis. Since the police intervention, the child has been removed from the care of his mother. His mother appeared in court and pleaded guilty to charges against her.
The boy's school teacher had expressed concerns over his well-being when she noticed his poor hygiene. His grandmother was also worried about the child's health and well-being. The anxious grandmother resorted to contacting the police. She wanted the police to check in on her daughter and grandson.
Officers responding to the welfare check reported that the home was "uninhabitable." Before entering the home, the officers tried to look in through the windows and saw dead flies. When they tried to enter the home, they could not get the door to open completely. A 2-foot high pile of trash blocked the entrance.
Inside the home, the officers found garbage strewn all over the floor. Struggling to breathe the strong smell of ammonia and faeces, the officers examined the rest of the home. The horrible smell was coming from the decomposing garbage, faeces clogged toilets and a decomposing dog carcass.
The officers made the gruesome discovery that the child had been living in the home with the decaying animal corpse. When the police asked the child about the dog, he explained to them that the dog had died of starvation some time ago. According to Wales Online, the child referred to the dog as "zombie dog." The child, whose name has been withheld for his privacy and safety, told the police that he often had no food to eat.
The only "food" the officers found in the home was some rotten coleslaw. There was no hot water in the home so the child had been forced to take cold baths.
When the officers entered the mother's room, they found piles of empty wine boxes.
The child has been removed from his mother's custody. The mother appeared in Swansea Crown Court where she admitted to the ill-treatment and neglect of her child over a six-month period. She told the court that she was scared and ashamed to ask for help. She also admitted that she was struggling with her alcohol addiction.
Ashanti-Jade Walton, mitigation officer, told the court that the mother had acted out of fear of losing her child. She also pointed out that the woman had been suffering from alcohol addiction and poor mental health.
The unnamed woman was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months. She must also do 160 hours of unpaid work and a 25-day rehabilitation programme. She also has to pay a £149 surcharge. Whether or not the child will be returned to her custody remains unknown.