A police officer called a couple who keep over 30 dogs in a three-bedroom home with seven children and said it was “clearly one of the most terrifying addresses I’ve ever been to”.
Christopher Bennett, 35, and Gemma Brogan, 41, of Eastbourne, have each been sentenced to six years in prison for child neglect after a judge told them they had shown “profound indifference”.
Police were called to their then Eastbourne address after a domestic incident was reported there in June 2021.
They were appalled at the filthy state of the home from which 35 dogs were taken to safety.
The whole house smelled strongly of dog poop.
“It is impossible to paint an accurate picture of the full extent of the humiliation and dirt these vulnerable children endured,” said Detective Constable Fiona Ashcroft, of East Sussex’s Safeguards Investigative Branch.
“It’s clearly one of the most terrifying addresses I’ve ever been to.”
DC Ashcroft said officers were “shocked” by the state of the property.
“The stench as you entered the hallway hit the officers hard – they couldn’t breathe normally as a result.
“The condition of the whole house was shocking and appalling. It was cluttered and littered with discarded clothing, rubbish, rotting food and animal droppings.
“It looked like it had been dirty for a few years.”
Officers removed a seven-year-old child covered in dog feces who was sleeping next to a dead dog.
Judge Stephen Mooney told the couple they put themselves first while the children lived in misery.
“They wasted £7,000 a month that should have been spent on the children.
“It is impossible for anyone to comprehend the enormity of your failure.”
The children were victims of ongoing serious neglect and willful disregard for their well-being, the judge said.
“It was willful neglect,” prosecutor Amy Packham told Lewes Crown Court.
Both Bennett and Brogan pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after being prosecuted in separate cases by the RSPCA in February and August this year.
The couple were sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to seven counts of child neglect on May 9.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23106915.eastbourne-couple-jailed-dreadful-child-neglect/?ref=rss Eastbourne couple jailed for ‘terrible’ child neglect