An "inept and inadequate" couple who blighted their children's lives with five years of extreme neglect in the home had their sentences more than doubled by top judges today.
The couple - who cannot be named - were prosecuted after social workers, teachers and medics became concerned about the deteriorating welfare of their five children, some of whose heads had become "excoriated" with the marks of chronic lice.
When the family home was searched by police it was found in a state of "complete disarray", Lord Justice Fulford told London's Appeal Court today.
Children were inhabiting bedrooms that smelled of urine and animal faeces, and sleeping on soiled mattresses.
The mother, in her 40's and the father, in his 30's, pleaded guilty to five counts of child cruelty in relation to five children, and received respective sentences of two years nine months and two years at Gloucester Crown Court in June.
However, the case reached London's Appeal Court as lawyers for the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, urged Lord Justice Fulford to increase the pair's sentences on the basis that they were "clearly unduly lenient".
Today he concluded that both parents' sentences were far too light - increasing them to six years.
There are problems on the M5 Southbound near Stroud. The motorway is partially blocked due to an accident between J13 A419 (Stroud) and J14 B4509 (Thornbury / Falfield). Traffic is queueing and delays are expected. Police are at the scene.
Four men from Stroud are due in court in connection with the death of a Prince's Trust worker. Nick Bonnie, who worked in fundraising for Prince Charles' charity, died after apparently taking ecstasy in Manchester. The men are all accused of perverting the course of justice. Three of them also face drug charges.
The A419 London Road is closed in both directions closed due to spillage of acid and the fire between Brimscombe Lane and Spring Lane. This is affecting traffic between Stroud and Cirencester. Motorists are being asked to avoid the area and to keep doors and windows closed.
John Beard from Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue says crews were also faced with an environmental issue when tackling the fire because of the chemicals inside the building:
Gloucestershire firefighters have been dealing with a major blaze in Stroud overnight.
It started at Griffin Mill in Thrupp at around half past eight yesterday evening.
Some buildings were evacuated and people living nearby were-asked to stay indoors and close their windows because of the chemicals thought to be inside. 60 firefighters were at the scene on the scene. Part of the A419 is closed.
Gloucestershire firefighters are dealing with a large fire at Griffin Mill,London Road in Thrupp, Stroud. Crews arrived at the scene just before 8.30pmthis evening. There are currently fifteen fire engines and one aerialvehicle on site. Around 60 firefighters are tackling the fire using eightjets and 12 breathing apparatus.
The industrial building around 50x30 metres is well alight and firefighters are expected to be there for some time. Due to chemicals that are thought to be contained in the building neighbouring units have been evacuated and local residents are being encouraged to stay indoors and keep their windows closed.
A serious fire has broken out at a factory in Stroud. Emergency services were called to the London Road at half past eight because a fire had started at the Eagle Works.
Thick black smoke is coming from the building and local residents are being asked to stay indoors and close their windows. The A419 is closed at the junction with London Road. The cause of the fire is not known.
A couple from Gloucestershire who subjected their five children to years of neglect were today jailed for two years.
The children were infested with lice and wore dirty clothes. The judge said they weren't deliberately cruel but were "inadequate, stupid, stubborn and incompetent". Chris Spittles has this report.
Credit: Police Footage
A Stroud couple who subjected their five children to 'appalling neglect' have been jailed today.Read the full story ›