Home   Kent   News   Article

Mother neglects children and leaves dogs to starve to death

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

by Keith Hunt

A mother neglected her three children and let her two dogs starve to death after becoming obsessed with a computer game and retreating into a virtual world, a court heard.

Her dogs lay rotting in the dining room for two months as the 33-year-old widow played an online game on the internet almost non-stop.

After a neighbour peered through the letterbox and saw the "appalling conditions", the NSPCC were told and police officers gagged as they entered the home and saw the "decay and filth".

The children had been given no hot food and were forced to "drink" cold baked beans from the tin because there were no spoons.

The mother, who cannot be identified, was given a suspended prison sentence after admitting three charges of child cruelty and two of animal neglect.

Maidstone Crown Court was told the children were badly neglected for six months.

Deepak Kapur, prosecuting, said when officers arrived at the house in Swanley in February the woman told them it was "in a bit of a mess".

They then saw rubbish strewn all over the floor in all rooms, mouldy food and a swarm of flies. The toilet was in a disgusting state.

The woman tried to block officers from entering the dining room and when asked why she replied: "All right, my dogs are in there. They are dead. I killed them.

"I probably starved them, probably because I have been playing the computer game all the time."

Mr Kapur said: "Police discovered the bodies of the dogs. Flies were around them. The smell was so overpowering, making the officers retch.

"She started playing initially for an hour a day in late 2009 but since August of that year it had become an obsession to the point where she was only getting two hours sleep a night," said the prosecutor.

"She still managed to feed the children and get them to school but accepted she let everything else go. Afterwards, it became so overwhelming she didn't know where to start.

"It got to the stage where she only bought food that didn't need cooking. She fed the children pot noodles, sandwiches, chips and pies. She was ashamed."

The mother was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to do 75 hours unpaid work. She was banned from keeping animals.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More