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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Couple charged with neglect after eight children found alone at 'disgusting' house


A married couple are behind bars after police discovered their eight young children alone at their filthy home.

The children - aged between a few months and 11 years old - were found by officers at the ‘disgusting’ house in Salford late on Saturday night.

Their parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in court on Monday charged with child neglect.

Their children have been taken into care.

Statements by two officers read to Manchester Magistrates Court described how the ‘filthy’, ‘appalling’ and ‘disgusting’ house was covered in excrement, used nappies and mould - with exposed electrical wires on the walls, a smashed window and ‘undernourished’ youngsters lying on a mattress on the floor.

Officers called at the house at 10.30pm on Saturday to find the couple aged 37 and 32, were not home - having put their 11-year-old daughter in charge of the rest of the kids.

They returned from a relative’s house - where they had been doing laundry ahead of emigrating - around 40 minutes later, at 11.12pm.

The family, who are orthodox Jews, had been due to fly to New York to ‘start a new life’ in America on Monday, the court heard.

But they remained behind bars on Monday night after prosecutors appealed against a judge’s decision to grant them bail - saying they presented ‘significant’ risk of fleeing the country.

Police were first alerted on Friday by an alarmed a member of the public who saw a three-year-old son wandering unaccompanied in the rain - wearing just a long-sleeved t-shirt - towards a toy shop near the family home, Holly Holden, prosecuting, told the court how the woman had driven after the boy as he walked home.

The woman and another member of the public knocked on their door after seeing the boy go back inside.

The woman’s statement said the woman had seemed ‘vacant’ when asked if she had noticed that the boy was gone, replying that she had not.

There were large amounts of rubbish on the garden path and inside the home, the statement added.

Representing the couple, Wyn Lewis told the court that the children were properly fed, cared for and educated.

He added that the Jewish community had ‘rallied round’ and were able to offer ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’ to secure bail for the couple.

But Ms Holden appealed against judge James Clarke’s decision to grant bail to the couple - who hold British and Israeli passports - because of the flight risk and a ‘suggestion of protracted neglect’.

A crown court judge will decide this week whether to grant bail.

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