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Abused boy was hours from death

A crown court's heard how a three year old boy was left so hungry that he was forced to eat his own hair. Hospital staff say he would have died from the cold within hours if police and social services had not intervened.

A judge has jailed his parents for what he called "abusive and sadistic behaviour." Lisa Brooks who's 25 and Tomas Lewis who's 22, and both from Pontypool, admited the willful neglect of the child.

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Sentence reflects "severity" of case

Gwent Police say the sentence reflects the severity of the neglect of the case.

The neglect experienced by the child in this case was horrific, however there is no doubt that the action taken by the agencies involved in this complex case ultimately helped to avert a tragedy and thankfully the child is now doing well.

– DI Mark Johnson, Public Protection Unit, Gwent Police:

Boy, 3, kept in 'cell' by parents 'was hours away from death'

The boy was rushed to Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny Credit: NHS

A couple from Pontypool have been jailed for child neglect, after locking a three year old boy in a tiny bare room with no lights or heating.

Lisa Brooks, 25 and Tomas Lewis, 22 were sentenced to three and three and half years respectively at Cardiff Crown Court today.

The three-year-old was discovered "hungry and dehydrated" just three weeks before Christmas 2010 by police after a tip off. He'd been locked away as punishment.

The court heard that Brooks (the child's mother) and her partner Lewis had even taken camera phone footage of the boy in the room.

Det Insp Mark Johnson, of Gwent Police’s public protection unit said: "The neglect experienced by the child in this case was horrific.

"There is no doubt that the action taken by the agencies involved in this complex case ultimately helped to avert a tragedy and thankfully the child is now doing well."

The boy has since been adopted by a foster family.