Earlier this evening, I watched the 5th episode of a series of documentaries about the Metropolitan Police. It’s interesting, educational and entertaining and often mind boggling. But tonight…it was absolutely horrifying. I could not believe what I was watching.
The officers were called out to an incident at a high rise flat in Bow. A young woman had called the ambulance as she believed her four month old baby was dead. Sadly, the baby did die later in hospital, and police became involved.
What they saw in that flat was unbelievable. Squalor doesn’t begin to cover it. Maggots, fly larvae, dirty nappies everywhere, congealed milk, and a pan of very old rice (fly infested) on the cooker. Nothing in the ‘fridge, empty crisp packets on the floor (this woman had two other toddlers) and the Moses basket the poor baby slept in wasn’t fit for a dog to lie on. It was horrific.
The baby had died of starvation and neglect and weighed less than she had when she was born. The woman was arrested and questioned and she denied that she had neglected the baby.
The police found some footage or something of this woman talking to a man on FB or Skype while the baby cries with hunger in the background. She (the woman) was ‘depressed’ after this man had begun to ignore her. So baby and kids were left to suffer and starve and cry.
Apparently, this woman had been forced into a marriage at thirteen. But is this an excuse for such terrible neglect and cruelty. I honestly don’t think so. Those children relied on her, trusted her to nurture and care for them and she let them down and wilfully allowed one to die. To me, there is no excuse for that level of neglect. Couldn’t she ask for help. Did no one know what was going on.
The woman was charged with manslaughter and neglect and it went to court. Her sentence…..two years suspended and supervision orders.
I was and still am, furiously angry and I don’t think that sentence in any way whatsoever reflected the seriousness of the crime. This poor excuse for a mother sat chatting to a man she didn’t know while her baby cried with hunger and thirst. Denied, by the very person she relied upon, the most basic of needs.
I cannot forget hearing the cries of that child. I hope that this young woman is haunted by those cries for ever.
I think that justice has let that baby and the other kids, down very badly.