Four ‘zombie’ toddlers were rescued by police in a ‘feral and dangerous’ house, a court has heard.
The children, all aged under five, were put into ‘faeces-covered’ rooms by their parents and ‘left to starve’. They were found with rashes, skin ailments and temperatures when police rescued them in Leyland, Lancashire.
The toddlers were ‘so thirsty and hungry’ that officers had to go out and get them food. There was nothing in the kitchen except for cannabis and a slow cooker, police told Preston Crown Court.
They found a baby in a bouncer two feet away from a heater, a toddler trapped underneath a bed frame and two other children in a room full of excrement and flies, with faeces splayed all over the walls.
One officer was ‘so overpowered by the smell’ of faeces that he was ‘repeatedly sick’.
The house had no hot running water and a dirty bathroom with a bath full of paint. The children were seen rummaging through empty packets of food when police arrived. When officers went to get them a drink, they found their bottles were mouldy.
The court heard the toddlers did not show emotion and were ‘for all intents and purposes dumb – described as like zombies.’
The father claimed the children were bathed in the kitchen sink and he had been ‘trying his best since his partner had mental difficulties’.
In the end, both parents – who can not be named to protect the identity of the children – each admitted four counts of neglect at the court.