A Peterborough dad who was found living in a car with his dirty and malnourished children has been convicted of neglect.
When officers pulled over the 24-year-old man on 25 February last year in Windmill Street, Peterborough, the smell from the car made them feel physically sick.
The man, of no fixed abode, had been pulled over by officers for driving while disqualified and without insurance, however, while talking to him they noticed two children – aged two and three – in the back of the car but not in proper child seats. They also noticed the children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, looked gaunt and dirty.
When they opened the door they were hit by an overpowering smell of smoke, urine and faeces and there were scraps of food strewn over the car.
The court heard the children were taken into police protection: their clothes were found to be wet, their nappies saturated and both had severe and painful nappy rash. They were also suffering from a cough, runny nose, high temperature and dehydration.
The man admitted he had been living in the car for three days after losing his job.
He pleaded guilty to child neglect and was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday (20 May). He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and complete a 30-day rehabilitation order.
DC Greg Stanley, who investigated, said: “This was a shocking case of neglect by someone who should have been there to protect his children.
“It seems the defendant had fallen on hard times after losing his job, but the welfare of his children should have come first.
“We are pleased that justice has been done and these children can hopefully now enjoy a brighter future.”
The man cannot be named to protect the identity of the children.