Neglect mum gets jail term

Jade Cunliffe
Jade Cunliffe
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A MOTHER who spent cash on beauty treatments while her children were left freezing at home is today waking up behind bars after being charged with neglect.

A judge described Jade Cunliffe’s neglect of her three-year-old daughter and four-year-old son as “shocking” after they were found living in a “disgusting” flat in South Shore – while she was able to afford new tattoos, sun beds and nail treatments.

Preston Crown Court heard the children’s bedding was soiled and there was decaying food in the flat on Crystal Road.

Judge Anthony Russell QC told the 23-year-old: “It’s quite shocking a parent could treat their children in this way instead of giving them love and care.

“You were heard talking about your nails and getting tattoos at the nursery. It seems to me you were more interested in your own appearance than the consideration to your children.”

Police were sent to the flat on December 2 last year after social services raised concerns.

Brett Gerrity, prosecuting, said: “The children appeared in a dishevelled state. They were shivering because there was no heating on and their clothing was inadequate.

“The children were examined by doctors. One of them had red blotchy marks on her legs due to poor circulation from living in cold conditions. Both children had nappy rash.”

Cunliffe was given a police caution in February but the neglect continued.

Her son had to be cleaned at nursery after staff found faeces on his body while the girl’s clothes had to be washed because the smell of urine was “unbearable”.

The court heard that when she was arrested in March she was, initially, in denial the children were being neglected but later admitted the offence.

Cunliffe’s defence barrister Sarah Booth presented new photos to the court which showed how the mum-of-two had cleaned the flat and decorated the childrens’ bedrooms since being charged.

She said: “She does accept things got so out of control it wasn’t suitable for the children. She was struggling to make ends meet. She felt overwhelmed as a single mum with two children.

“But she has tried to make amends by decorating the children’s bedrooms and buying new bedding.”

But Judge Russell did not accept that she had changed her ways and sentenced her to 36 weeks in prison.

He added: “This was neglect over several weeks, if not months. There is a high risk of you re-offending in this manner.

“This is a case which is so serious it requires immediate imprisonment.”