English Parents Sentenced To Years In Jail For Failing To Take Their Son To Doctor, Child Neglect

| by Amanda Schallert

The parents of a young boy who went blind in one eye after not receiving medical attention for months have been sentenced to years in jail for child neglect.

Parents Gillian Hendry and Craig Dick, who are both 34 years old, kept their children in a house in England filled with trash and rotting food, according to the Daily Mail.

The couple had their 12-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter sleep on dirty mattresses with no sheets. Because of their neglect, the boy went blind from cataracts in his left eye, though he experienced noticeable eye problems for about six months.

The parents have claimed they were “too busy” to take their son to a doctor and they did not realize that his eye had turned white and that his pupil was less visible.

Additionally, Hendry and Dick did not take their son to a doctor to treat his arthritis, causing him to develop a limp.

Teesside Crown Court Judge Crowson said it is unlikely that the couple could have failed to see their son’s distressed eye.

“His pupil was white not black. The cataract was visibly obvious for at least six months and it could not be missed,” Crowson said. “You suggest that you were both extremely busy when neither of you had paid employment and lived on benefits. The best interpretation I can put on it is that you are both ashamed and find it difficult to publicly accept what you did.”

Pictures of the couple’s home show that they struggled to provide their children with basic needs, including a clean and safe environment.

Though the children had toys and the house had TVs, human waste was found in some of the rooms, and bags of dirty diapers were strewn along the staircase. The 2-year-old daughter’s mattress had mould growing in it, and one of the house’s bedrooms had also been used as a bathroom.

Still, the parents' room was relatively clean in comparison to the rest of the house, though the couple said they did not sleep in it.

Officials removed the children from the unsanitary home and from the custody of their parents.

The couple pled guilty to child neglect, after their lawyers described each of them as inadequate and depressed. Hendry was sentenced to two-and-a-half years, while Dick received a sentence of two years and two months.

Source: Daily Mail, Image Credit: North News and Pictures Ltd.