Mother guilty of neglecting her daughter, 8
A mother and her partner have been convicted of willful neglect after allowing an eight-year-old girl to become so malnourished she weighed just 30lb.
The condition of the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stunned doctors at Derriford Hospital.
After a three-day trial at Truro Crown Court, the pair were found guilty of willfully neglecting the youngster in a way likely to cause her unnecessary suffering or injury to health between June 30, 2010 and January 27, 2011.
The couple, who were living near Plymouth at the time, blamed her condition on "fussy eating" when in fact she was suffering from a digestive disease that left her half the healthy weight for a child her age.
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But as her muscles wasted away and her body fat melted to zero her mother and lover did nothing to seek help.
Truro Crown Court heard the girl's mother had left the father of her children and moved in with her lover in 2010. The pair were responsible for daily care of the youngster, who ended up spending weeks in hospital to recover.
Phillip Lee, prosecuting, said the mother took the child to her doctor saying she was concerned about her weight.
He said: "The doctor found that her body was very thin with wasted muscle and no body fat at all."
The girl was referred to a specialist and admitted to Derriford Hospital, a few weeks later. Mr Lee added: "She weighed 13.7kg – an extremely low weight. The average weight for a girl of that age is 27kg. Her severely emaciated condition was exceptional and she had been severely malnourished for a long time."
The eight-year-old was diagnosed with Coeliac disease – a digestive condition that means the sufferer has an intolerance of gluten.
The pair are due to be sentenced next month.