14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Parents Jailed After Police Found Children Living In Disgusting Squalor


Three children have been placed in foster care and their parents jailed after police found them living in disgusting squalor.

The home of Marla Everett, 32, and Matthew Cartwright, 39, in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, was full of rotting food, discarded fast food packaging, empty lager cans and faeces.

When an officer gained entry to the property, he was hit by a swarm of flies, a stench of urine, excrement and stale alcohol and found both parents in a stupor, a court heard.

Cartwright and Everett each admitted three offences of cruelty to the boys, now aged three, nearly two and one.

Cartwright was jailed for 15 months and Everett for a year by Judge David Tremberg, who allowed their names to be published so that the case could be reported.

Prosecutor Jayne Beckett told Grimsby Crown Court that eyewitness Wendy Russell called the police after spotting a two-year-old boy on the very small balcony of a third-floor flat on July 10, last year.

He was swinging his legs through the metal bars of the balcony and was banging on the door and crying to be let in.

Mrs Beckett said: "She could not believe that a child had been left alone on such a high balcony and she stayed to watch for a while."

PC Peter Mills, of Humberside Police, had to force his way into the flat and was greeted by an overpowering stench of excrement, urine, mould and alcohol in the 'horrendous mess' of the flat, with flies buzzing around, rotting food lying about and large amounts of debris strewn around.

The officer had to walk through the debris to get to the patio to rescue the boy, to applause from below.

The court heard how Cartwright was drunk, was possibly under the influence of drugs and was in no fit state to look after children. He had drunk eight to ten pints of lager.

Everett then appeared, apparently also under the influence. She had smeared excrement on her neck and bra strap.

Mrs Beckett said: "The kitchen contained rotting food, dirty clothes, tyres and faeces. There were opened tins of mouldy food and there was virtually no food in the fridge or cupboards. The smell in the room was almost unbearable.

"In the children's bedroom, there was a mass of debris, including bicycle parts, mouldy cloths, a pushchair with a mouldy mattress inside and cloths covered in faeces.

"The smell from the room was overpoweringly one of urine, faeces, mould and alcohol. There was nowhere for the children to sleep. The bath and sink were unusable and full of items."