Northampton couple in child cruelty trial told their children to 'run away' on supervised visits, court hears

A child cruelty trial is underway at Northampton Crown Court.
A child cruelty trial is underway at Northampton Crown Court.

A Northampton couple accused of child cruelty 'always whispered' to their children during supervised visits after they were separated by social services, a court has heard.

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

But after the children were taken away from the couple, the mother in the case would reportedly whisper to the children to 'run away' on supervised visits when they were allowed to see each other.

However, one of the children at the centre of case later told his social worker, who gave evidence at Northampton Crown Court this morning (March 28).

The social worker, who spoke to the boy in late 2017, said: "He told me he was frightened to go home. He said he wanted to speak out against what was happening in that house.

"He told me on supervised visits [the parents] would always whisper to him and tell him to run away.

"He said he felt a weight had been lifted off his shoulders talking about what happened in the house... He clearly loved his brother and said he thought they should stick together."

The jury has already seen a taped police interview with the same boy, who said the father in the case beat him and his siblings regularly.

The same boy gave evidence on the first day of the case on March 22. He told the jury he was 'mollycoddled to lie' by his social workers and said his police interview was 'lies'.

All of the children in the case reportedly told police their father beat them.

But the worst of the allegations surround one of the boys being locked in a dark, filthy room with no mattress or furniture, where he was forced to go to the toilet on the floor.

When police visited the house in late 2016, the walls and floors of this top-floor bedroom were reportedly covered with excrement.

Another social worker took the stand at Northampton Crown Court yesterday to give evidence over visits he made to the house in summer 2015.

He was assigned to the family because of reports the eldest boy was soiling himself, smearing his excrement on walls.

But speaking about a visit in 2015, the social worker said: "The house was spotless.

"[The boy] took me up to his bedroom on the first floor. It was clean. There was a bed and a mattress. I could not see any toys. There was no lock or an alarm."

The family's case with social services was closed in August 2015. The social worker said he 'did not make the decision' himself.

The trial continues.