Two parents from Hull have been jailed for leaving their five children in horrific conditions while they spent their days smoking weed. Mouldy food was littered around the home and human waste was smeared on the walls.
At the home of Lee Carnell and his partner Sarah Lamb, a vile smell filled the property, mouldy food littered the rooms and human excrement was smeared on the walls, even in close proximity to people's toothbrushes.
There were only four beds shared between the seven residents of the home.
One of the boys had been banned from using the toilet during the night so was forced to urinate in his bedroom and one of the girls had been assaulted.
Judge Peter Kelson said: "There was cannabis located in areas within reach of the children, little food in the cupboards, mould visible on food, no carpeting, with glass on the floor, only four beds available for seven people, with no bedding and dirty nappies everywhere. It's a description of squalor."
Lee Carnell, 32, and Sarah Lamb, 33, both from Hull, England, pleaded guilty to a number of child cruelty charges involving five children - four girls and a boy all under the age of 12.
Lamb was the mother to all of the children and Carnell was the father of the youngest three.
Hull Crown Court was told how police had been contacted in July 2019 after concerns were raised about the children, causing them to be taken into care.
When officers attended the property, Carnell told them that the reason the house smelled so bad was because of a water leak and the fact they didn't own a vacuum.
Richard Butters, defending Carnell, said to the court: "This defendant really has tried to move on from this dreadful phase of his life.
"He was doing his best. He fell short. He made some very bad errors and mistakes. "These two have certainly failed the children, that's without question. They have failed these children but, over the years, they have also tried to do some good.
"I am not making any excuses about that. The parents tried to do some reasonable things with the children within their capabilities.
"The impact on the children, he finds very hard to live with."
Defending Lamb, Cathy Kioko-Gilligan, said that her client had not had any contact with Carnell recently and that this had significantly impacted her life for the better. She added that Lamb had improved her mental health issues and was now free from using drugs, after admitting to having a previous addiction to cannabis.
Judge Kelson said: "The pair of you were responsible for bringing up these five children and your neglect of them was such that they suffered badly. "All five children were 18 months behind in their development. The prosecution contends that this is serious neglect. "It's plainly a case of the utmost gravity. In so many ways, these children have been damaged, and damaged badly.
"It's an assault without a beating in many ways. It's assault by neglect. Appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody.
"This is a case requiring a deterrent sentence. It's a case where parenting has fallen so far below the acceptable standard."
Lee Carnell was jailed for two years and Sarah Lamb was jailed for 18 months.