A mother neglected her son so badly that it caused him not to grow, a court heard today.
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.
Social workers called in to work with the single mother discovered that the boy was not being given breakfast, was riddled with lice and could not remember the last time he saw a doctor.
He had a decaying molar in his mouth and said that his 28 year old mother had never taught him how to brush his teeth.
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.'
Psychosocial dwarfism is caused by extreme stress and causes the body to stop producing a growth hormone.
'She is still young and struggles to cope with the children on her own.' wtf?
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.
Judge Peter Henry told her: '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.'
'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 Mr Sawyer said since the boy had been rehoused with his father and stepmother he had begun to grow again