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Boy, 5, died in ‘sheer and utter filth’ of horrific squalor as dad pleads guilty to charges linked to his death
The father of a little boy who died while trapped in horrific squalor has pleaded guilty to charges linked to his death.
The man, who cannot be named, joins his wife who has already pleaded guilty to three charges over the shocking death.
The boy, aged 5, died after cutting his foot in his rodent infested home and was found dead in his bedroom three days later.
He was rushed to an ambulance branch by his mother, but couldn't be saved. His dad appeared at the Melbourne Magistrates Court
today where he pleaded guilty to two charges of reckless conduct endangering serious injury.
Supported by his wife in court he also pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to register the birth of a child.
Shocking images of the couple's putrid home show they lived surrounded by rodents, debris and rubbish.
Rotten food, mould, faeces, broken furniture and household items litter every room of the house that police said had a foul odour.
Neighbours allegedly reported the family to authorities and regularly saw the boy, and his brother, locked outside of the home.
Neighbours had allegedly urged police to intervene after they heard his mother threaten to break his
arms and legs and run him over with a car.
In a brief of evidence prepared for the court the mum admitted to police her family had been living in "sheer and utter filth".
The boy's 41-year-old mother made the admission to police during an interview following her son's death in August, 2012.
The boy's father told police after his son cut his foot he treated him with a bandaid and antiseptic.
But he said he wasn't taken to a doctor despite continuing to complain of being unwell.
The boy's brother said the night before he died he had been asking for help and said he
"kept falling over like a zombie".
He described his brother as "very very very sick" and that he "sounded like he gunna die," court documents reveal.
Extended family members have told police that on the occasions they saw they boy he was withdrawn and couldn't communicate properly.
He had never seen a doctor and was not registered with authorities. One neighbour who lived close to the family
told the Herald Sun police attended the house before and after the little boy died.
"They were a weird couple," the neighbour said.
"You would see the children naked running around in the street outside the house — even in the middle of winter.
"The house always smelt and the backyard was really dirty.
"It just wasn't normal. As a neighbour I always felt really sorry for the children but what can you do."
Both parents, who are on bail, will reappear at the County Court in June.
Boy, 5, died living in squalor
A five-year-old boy was living in a house of filth when he cut his foot and died, a court has heard.
The young boy cut his big toe on a can of cat food at his home in Melbourne and his parents failed to
get him medical attention, Fairfax Media reported.
Days later, on August 1, 2012, he could not be revived. His skin was grey and mottled upon arrival
at hospital and the three-centimetre cut on his foot was covered in a putrid bandage, according to an
ambulance officer who observed the boy at the time.
The night before his death, the boy complained of a sore neck and a headache and his older brother
said he was “very, very sick”, according to the court documents.
The property was in a “state of extreme squalor”, according to a police officer, and was filled with junk, food scraps and faeces.
“The inside of the house was filled with rubbish and debris throughout every room, consisting of general household
waste, rotting and spoilt food, mould, faeces, broken furniture and household items, as well as soiled bedding
and clothing,” a police officer investigating the case wrote.
“A foul odour emanated from the premises and an infestation of rodents and insects was evident.”
The boy was never immunised, not enrolled at school and only had contact with his immediate family in his short life.
The boy’s mother, 42, sobbed in court as she pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless conduct endangering serious injury.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years. The boy’s father, 43, faces the same charges but is yet to enter a plea.
Both have been ordered to return to court next month. Their identities have been suppressed to protect the identity of their other son.
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