London, August 28 (ANI): A British boy was neglected by his mother so badly that it stopped his growth.
The nine-year-old boy was so poorly treated he developed a condition called psychosocial dwarfism.
This left him significantly shorter than his six-year-old brother, prosecutors told a judge.
Daniel Sawyer, prosecuting, said: "In 2008 police had searched her home regarding an unrelated matter and discovered the three bedroom house was untidy and grubby.'
"Social workers were called in and interviewed the boy at school. They found he had ingrained dirt on his palms and scratches on his forearms that came from a puppy.
"He was extremely short at the age of nine and significantly shorter than his six year old brother, for which the most likely diagnosis is psychosocial dwarfism.
"He made no eye contact with the social workers and looked at the floor the whole time.
"Every night they would go to McDonald's and have burgers, chips or chicken nuggets. He did not have breakfast and went to school hungry.
'He did not get regular baths and went to school smelling of urine and faeces.
"When he went to live with his father he would eat his food very quickly and exhibit hoarding behaviour.
"At four in the morning he would get up, take food and hide it in places.
Robert Bryan, defending, told the court: "This is a woman who was not being deliberately abusive. She is inadequate in many ways.
"Mothers should look after their children and those who harm them should be punished, but if there is some underlying reason for that then it needs to be treated.
"She is still young and struggles to cope with the children on her own.
The woman, from Portsmouth, Hants, admitted one charge of neglect at Winchester Crown Court. She was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
She was also ordered to attend a parenting course.
"There are reasons to think that what you did in respect of your son was not deliberate and was born out of being an inadequate parent," the Daily Mail quoted Judge Peter Henry as saying.
"You were only 28 and I have had a long hard think about a custodial sentence but don't think it would be appropriate in this case."
After the hearing prosecutor Sawyer said since the boy had been rehoused with his father and stepmother he had begun to grow again. (ANI)