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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Millom parents who neglected children could face jail

A MILLOM couple who exposed toddlers to drugs and used needles in a “revolting” house have pleaded guilty to child neglect.

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Michael Street, 47, of Holborn Hill, Millom, and Laura Ann O’Shea, 33, of Windsor Street, Millom, were told they could face jail after their children were found to be living in squalid conditions.

The pair appeared at Barrow Crown Court to admit two charges each of neglecting the children, aged one and three, between October 1, 2012 and June 27, 2013.

A previous hearing was told methadone bottles and cans of beer were found in the toddler’s bedroom, and used needles were left lying around the property. The court heard the children had been taken into care and would be adopted.

O’Shea, who also admitted a charge of possessing amphetamines, wept quietly as she gave her guilty plea, while Street did not show any emotion.

The pair were caught after a visit by social services in June last year, which reported the house was “filthy” and there was no food in the kitchen. The court heard Street had only been living in O’Shea’s home for a month when the discovery was made.

Judge Mr Paul Batty adjourned the hearing for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, and granted Street and O’Shea conditional bail.

He said: “The fact that I’m granting each of you bail is no indication as to sentencing. These are serious matters and the court is bound to be considering all sentence options, including custody.

“The children have been adopted and the state of the house was, frankly, revolting.”

At a previous hearing in Furness Magistrates’ Court, Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, had asked the court to impose a reporting restriction on the case, preventing the identities of the children, and therefore the defendants, from being published.

However, after a legal challenge from the Evening Mail, the restriction was overturned due to over-riding public interest.

The couple are due to be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Friday March 28.

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