THE ONLY neat and tidy place at the home of a Rugby father who broke his son’s arm in a flash of temper was the brick outhouse where he was growing a crop of cannabis.
The rest of the house was dirty and cluttered, and two of the children were sent to school hungry and in grubby clothes, a judge has heard.
After originally claiming his six-year-old son’s injury had been caused accidentally, he pleaded guilty on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
The 24-year-old father-of-three, who cannot be named to protect the identities of his children, and who had also admitted three charges of neglect, was jailed for a total of 17 months.
Prosecutor Stefan Kolodynski said the neglect offences related to the unhygienic and unsafe conditions in the house where the father lived with his partner and their children, including a six-year-old boy.
The boy was described by teachers as a ‘nice little boy’ who was very caring towards the older of his sisters who was in nursery school.
But he struggled with reading and writing, his appearance was often dishevelled and grubby and he would frequently arrive saying he was hungry.
And his sister was described as “having a stale and damp smell about her” and a very limited vocabulary.
She sometimes said all she had had for breakfast was a bag of crisps, and when she had a school meal at lunchtime she very quickly polished off her own food before picking food from the plates of other children.
“Both said interaction with their parents was non-existent.”added Mr Kolodynski.
Matters came to light after the boy went to school earlier this year with a broken arm, which his mother wrote in the school record he had fallen while messing about with his dad.
His teacher was not happy with the explanation and spoke to the boy who eventually revealed it had not been an accident, but his mum had told him not to say anything.
Police spoke to the boy’s father who said he had been playing with his sister in an upstairs bedroom when, because they had been making a noise, his father ran upstairs and ‘went mental’ and picked him up and threw him across the room.
Mr Kolodynski pointed out the parents took him to hospital where they claimed he had fallen while playing.
The court heard the father had entered his plea on the basis he had acted recklessly by throwing his son towards the bed, but he landed on the floor instead.
When the police and social services visited the family’s home, they found unsafe and unhygienic conditions.
The kitchen and bathroom were dirty and cluttered, the toilet was dirty, cupboards with cleaning products in were open, and the fridge was bare except for some apples and some pate.
The children’s rooms were dirty, with dirty bedclothes and stained and torn mattresses.
Mr Kolodynski pointed out the only tidy room was one adapted by the father to grow a small amount of cannabis, for which he had already been fined after appearing before magistrates.
Anthony Bell, defending, said his partner was equally responsible.
“He was out working all day while his partner was at home; and he would frequently find himself coming home, having done a day’s work, and then having to cook meals for the children,” added Mr Bell.
“No further action was taken against her, for whatever reason, but it would be unfair to lay the condition of the house solely at his door.”
Mr Bell added the assault was a one off and he had not previously been violent to his children.
Jailing the father, Recorder Stuart Sprawson told him: “You admitted to having wilfully neglected your children. They were all young and vulnerable and heavily dependent on you.
“I do accept that, along with you, their mother was also responsible for the upbringing, and their neglect.
“I have seen a large number of photographs which reflect the squalid conditions in which you were bringing up your children. They are conditions which could be described as Dickensian in nature.
“You should be ashamed of yourself and lower your head in shame. Children are the most vulnerable in society, and with parenthood comes responsibility. You have failed in that task.”