Boy in Northampton child abuse trial says he was 'mollycoddled to lie' about parents to police

Two Northampton parents are accused of multiple counts of child cruelty.
Two Northampton parents are accused of multiple counts of child cruelty.

A boy at the heart of a Northampton child cruelty case says he was 'told to lie' in his official police interview about the alleged neglect.

A trial has begun over the alleged mistreatment of children at a Northampton household in late 2016.

Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (March 20) how the parents in the case are accused of regularly beating the children and leaving them to sleep on bare, dirty mattresses with springs poking out.

But the most serious allegations surrounds how one boy was allegedly kept locked in a filthy, dark room with no bed or mattress, where he was forced to go to the toilet on the floor.

However, one of the children in the case took the stand yesterday to say he and his siblings were 'treated good' and had a 'loving, strong' relationship with the parents.

Prosecutor Grace Hale QC asked the boy about the evidence he gave in his police interview around a year ago.

"I was lying," he told the jury. "I had people around me mollycoddling me to attention seek [sic.] and tell lies.

"I love my dad. We had a really strong relationship."

When police attended the Northampton house, they saw one of the rooms was locked and had an alarm on it. Inside, the room was covered in excrement, had no lightbulb, no bed, no mattress and the only window had a blind tacked over it.

This is allegedly where one of the children was locked up on a daily basis.

The boy in court said: "No one was allowed in there. It was alarmed to stop [others] going in there.

"I don't know what the stains on the walls were. It was like that when we moved in."

He also denied it was anyone's bedroom.

In the opening of her case yesterday, Miss Hale said the children in the case had individually reported in their police interviews that they were beaten by the parents.

The boy told the court: "None of us were beaten.

"If we were naughty, we would have to sit on the stairs or have no telly or Xbox."

The trial continues.