Rochdale man jailed for "starving" step-daughter

A man who deprived his step-daughter of food, causing her to become seriously unwell, has been sentenced, along with the child's mother who allowed the abuse to happen.

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Rochdale couple "starved" child of food

A man who deprived his ten-year-old step-daughter of food, causing her to become seriously unwell, has been jailed for three years.

The child's mother, who allowed the abuse to happen, was given a suspended sentence.

The couple cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Minshull Street crown Court.

"This is a tragic case and had the abuse continued much longer there is a very real possibility it could have cost this young girl her life.

"To knowingly inflict such abuse on a young, innocent and vulnerable child defies belief and goes against the very basic instincts of human nature.

"She is now in a loving, caring and nurturing environment but the abuse she has suffered will most likely stay with her for the rest of her life."

– Detective Inspector Caroline Ward, Greater Manchester Police

The girl was found collapsed and unresponsive on the bathroom floor of her then Rochdale home in April last year.

Ambulance crews said she was severely malnourished and had a distended abdomen, consistent with a child who has not been fed.

She also had gross nutritional deficiencies.

She told police how she had stopped being regularly fed, that she would be given food intermittently - including being fed raw potato peelings - and would not be able to eat with the rest of the family, claims that were verified by siblings.

Photographs were taken of the home address and a room believed to be the victim's showed no clothes or possessions.

There were toys and electrical equipment for other children at the address.

The girl also disclosed how, shortly after being admitted to hospital, her mother had said that if she did not tell anyone about her home life then it would not happen again and she would get fed every day and would even be given "pudding and custard".

The victim's 32-year-old stepfather admitted causing a child to suffer serious physical harm and was sentenced to three years in prison at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

His partner and the child's mother, a 30-year-old woman, admitted allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm and was given a 15 month suspended prison sentence.

Detective Inspector Caroline Ward, of Greater Manchester Police, said it was a tragic case.

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