Sunday 21 January 2018

Cruel parents who forced ‘constantly hungry’ boy (11) to live in coal bunker are jailed for two years

The filthy converted coal-bunker, an 11-year-old boy was forced to live in at his mother and stepfather's home in Blackpool, Lancashire. Photo: PA
The filthy converted coal-bunker, an 11-year-old boy was forced to live in at his mother and stepfather's home in Blackpool, Lancashire. Photo: PA

Kim Pilling

A MOTHER and stepfather who forced their 11-year-old son to live in a filthy converted coal bunker have each been jailed for two years.

Bullied and constantly hungry, the traumatised boy was made to live and sleep in the room, described as a "cell" by social workers, and reduced to using a potty as he was locked up each night until morning.



The rubbish-strewn room had no heating, a bare lightbulb, and concrete walls and floor, with the child left to sleep on a dirty mattress with a sleeping bag for a blanket.



The couple in their 40s, who cannot be named for legal reasons, both admitted a single charge of cruelty by wilful neglect between January 2010 and January 2011 at an earlier hearing at Preston Crown Court.



Sentencing, Judge Norman Wright told the pair: "This was a flagrant abuse of power and a gross breach of trust."



He added: "The room has been described as a cell but it seems to me it was akin to a prison cell from a third world country, not the home of an 11- or 12-year-old living in this century in this country."

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