Girl had to kneel in scalding water

Gavel and scales
Gavel and scales
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A girl who soiled herself was made to kneel in scalding water by her foster mother, a Blackpool family court judge has concluded.

The unnamed youngster, now 12, had also been picking up faeces in the garden of her home, Judge Sarah Singleton said.

She also told how she had been bitten by her foster parents’ Rottweiler dogs at their home near Blackpool.

Judge Singleton said the youngster, who can’t be named for legal reasons, had been left physically scarred and “deeply traumatised”.

The judge said the girl’s foster mother and father were responsible for “emotional abuse and neglect”.

Neighbours and school staff had been concerned, police and social workers had been involved and opportunities to protect had been missed, said the judge.

She said she was concerned about the “quality and superficiality” of an assessment carried out by social services staff at Lancashire County Council.

The judge said the girl had lived with the couple for about a decade and was now in the care of Lancashire County Council. Detail has emerged in a ruling by the judge following a private hearing at a Blackpool family court.

The judge said she had been asked to make decisions about who had caused harm to help social workers plan for the youngster’s future.

The foster parents were not named – and the ruling gave no indication as to whether they had been charged with criminal offences.

Judge Singleton said the youngster had lived with her foster parents at a home near Blackpool, after previously living in other parts of England.

She said the youngster’s mother was an asylum seeker.

The woman had placed her daughter with the couple, who were British, under an “informal fostering arrangement”.

A residence order had been made at a county court in York 10 years ago, said the judge.

Judge Singleton said the girl had been treated with “cold contempt” by her foster parents, who kept animals including three Rottweilers and a cat.

The judge said the foster mother demonstrated more warmth for the animals than the girl.

Judge Singleton also outlined issues raised at schools – including concerns that the girl was not getting enough to eat – and the involvement of police and social workers over a number of years.

She said the girl had been taken from the foster couple and into council care about two years ago.