Couple admit cruelly beating their children

A COUPLE have been jailed for child cruelty after a judge heard youngsters in their care were found with numerous bruises, while one described being fed regurgitated food and another having toys burnt as a punishment.

Officials initially visited the couple at their home after a truancy officer saw them with three children, clearly of school age, at Leeds Market on 11.20am on March 16 last year.

She was with a police community support officer and when they approached the group the man became aggressive, refusing to give their details.

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The woman, the mother of the five children present, was calmer, explaining they had just moved house and the children had not yet got a new school.

Because the officers noticed bruises on some of the children, police and social services were notified and when the social workers later attended their home they found it was cluttered and messy, while there was also a smell of cannabis.

One boy had fresh purple bruises around an eye and a girl to her chin. Three of the children were sharing a mattress as a bed in the living room.

They were examined by doctors who found four with injuries, including widespread bruising on the girl while one boy had severe bruising on his buttocks likely to have been caused by repeated striking with an object.

In spite of that they were returned to the mother on condition the man did not stay there. However by March 31 that had been breached and the children were taken into care.

Gerald Hendron, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday it was not possible to say who caused the injuries but it was the Crown’s case the two defendants had failed to protect them or seek appropriate medical help.

The man, aged 47, was jailed for three years and the woman, aged 26, for two years after they each admitted four charges of cruelty. The children cannot be identified.

Judge James Spencer QC told the pair their neglect went “beyond simple inadequacy or inexperience.”