A lazy dad left his three children living in rotting food, broken glass and swarms of flies – because he said it was his ex-partner's job to do the cleaning.
Police found the neglected kids - all under 12 - in the home with excrement and grime smeared over the walls and windows.
Bristol Crown Court heard that when police first questioned the 37-year-old dad - who can't be named for legal reasons - he refused to let them past the front door.
But they went back armed with cameras to capture the squalor.
Neil Treharne, prosecuting, said: "He blamed his ex-partner. He said faeces from the dog littered the house and it was her responsibility.
"He said refuse in the kitchen was from where a dog ripped a bin bag open and it was her responsibility.
"He said the state of the cooker was her fault as she was responsible for cleaning the house.
"He said he smashed glass in the microwave in a rage and could give no reason as to why it wasn't cleared away."
The slovenly father even blamed his children for the mess, claiming they had refused to stop smearing faeces over the walls.
The cooker in the home in Knowle West, Bristol, was caked in grease and fresh food sat in a fridge that was filled with black mould. Dirt covered the walls, windows and floor of the vile home and every surface was thick with grime.
But despite the conditions - condemned as 'appalling' by a judge - the lay-about dad was spared prison for neglecting his children and was given a suspended sentence.
The court heard that the father was frequently in trouble in the past and was addicted to heroin until 2000.
When his long-term partner left him he lost his job and started smoking cannabis causing 'inertia and emotional paralysis'.
Peter Richardson, defending, said: "He is utterly ashamed of what occurred at that period of his life, and the effect upon his children."
The dad admitted three counts of child neglect and was given a one-year prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with a year's supervision.
Judge Timothy Mousley QC told him: "The photographs show the circumstances in which those three young children were living.
"The conditions were appalling and you should be ashamed of yourself for letting it get into that sort of state.
"It was associated with neglect. It was not associated with cruelty. It came about because of your inadequacies.
"You accept it came about as a result of the wreckage of the breakdown of your relationship and you went back to taking drugs."