A couple pleaded guilty to two charges of child neglect after their 12-year-old son went blind because they refused to take him to a hospital appointment for six months. Read on for the full story!
A couple has been jailed for child neglect after their 12-year-old son went blind because they were “too busy” to take him to the hospital, even though neither parent worked.
According to Daily Mail, Gillian Hendry and Craig Dick, both 34, kept the boy and his 2-year-old sister in an absolutely disgusting home in central Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, infested with flies, trash, and filth.
The young boy went completely blind in his left eye from cataracts after the couple failed to take him to a hospital appointment for six months.
To police, social workers, and the court, Hendry and Dick both claimed they were “too busy” to notice that the boy’s entire pupil had changed color from black to white—even admitting they never looked him in the face.
The court also learned that the boy had terrible arthritis—which also wasn’t treated—and the arthritis plus the deplorable living conditions put him at a higher risk to lose his eyesight.
Despite the pair owning luxury items, such as three TVs and boxes of toys, photos of their home show almost every room strewn with human waste, buckets of trash, and bugs.
The children’s bedrooms were dirty, messy, and neither child had covers on their moldy mattresses. One of the rooms had been used as a toilet.
However, the couple’s bedroom just happened to be much cleaner than the rest of the home. They claimed they never slept in it, which prosecutors suspected was a lie to cover up the fact that they intentionally neglected their children.
At Teesside Crown Court, Judge Crowson told the couple, “The best interpretation I can put on it is that you are both ashamed and find it difficult to publicly accept what you did.”
In fact, when doctors raised concerns about the boy’s health, the pair refused to let social workers inside their home on August 21 last year.
Peter Wishlade, who defended the mother in court, argued that she couldn’t take care of her children because she suffered from depression—which was unsupported by any medical evidence.
Jim Withyman, who defended Dick, simply said he was an “inadequate” man, who couldn’t even take care of himself—let alone two kids.
Hendry was jailed for two-and-a-half years and Dick for two years and two months after they pleaded guilty to two charges of child neglect.
The 12-year-old boy is now living with his biological father, while the little girl will be put up for adoption.