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Britain's cruellest parents (Heartbreaking story warning)
The Sun (U.K.) ^ | November 24, 2004 | ALASTAIR TAYLOR

Posted on 11/23/2004 8:28:22 PM PST by Stoat

Britain's cruellest parents
Jailed ... mum Sarah Whittaker
Jailed ... mum Sarah Whittaker
 
 

 
By ALASTAIR TAYLOR

 

 

A CRUEL couple who lived it up while their children were slowly starving to death in “Third World” squalor were jailed for seven years yesterday.

David Askew and Sarah Whittaker kept their own bedroom and lounge clean and had a big surround-sound TV connected to cable, two DVD players, a stereo and a PlayStation.

But while they enjoyed their gadgets, ate well and sank wine and beer, their five skeletal children lay neglected and malnourished in bedrooms smeared with human and dog dirt.

When they were finally found, one 13-month-old boy looked like a concentration camp victim and was within hours of death. He was passing live housefly maggots into his nappy.


 

jailed ... dad David Askew
Jailed ... dad David Askew
 
 

And a consultant paediatrician who treated him said it was the worst case of malnutrition he had seen outside the developing world.

The tot’s twin brother — weighing only 40 per cent of a normal child of his age — was seriously ill when he was discovered.

An emaciated three-year-old boy was found locked in his room, huddled in a corner on a bed of rags and wearing soiled underpants.

Sisters aged four and eight were in a similar state and sleeping on urine-soaked mattresses.


 

Comfortable
Comfortable living ... pair's lounge
 
 

Police called to the family’s terraced house in Sheffield had to prevent themselves being sick. One shocked cop said later: “It is something you would imagine in Ethiopia, not in Sheffield.”

The city’s crown court heard the eight-year-old girl was often left to act as “mum” for the others while the parents, both 24, went boozing.

It was she who finally ended the kids’ misery when she told her mother she feared one of the twins was DEAD — and had checked to see if he had a heartbeat.

Whittaker called an ambulance and paramedics stumbled into a scene from hell. Police, the NSPCC and social services — who knew nothing of the kids’ plight — were called in.

Cops found a food cupboard in the kitchen containing just a tin of mushy peas, baked beans and corned beef.


 

Squalid ... soiled bedroom of kids neglected by Whittaker and Askew
Squalid ... soiled bedroom of kids
neglected by Whittaker and Askew

 
 

The fridge held two cartons of milk and the freezer contained only a few sprouts and three fishcakes. There was some powdered baby milk in the house.

Prosecutor Andrew Hatton said the lounge was a complete contrast to the kids’ rooms and was equipped for “adult leisure”.

He added: “There were very few toys but there were seven empty lager cans and an almost empty bottle of wine on the floor.”

Relatives who babysat for the couple told Whittaker to do something about the children. But she never did.

Askew and Whittaker — who wept as she was sent down — each admitted five counts of cruelty.

Recorder Alan Goldsack told them: “These are offences which will rightly shock most people. I recall very few parents who have treated their own children with such callous disregard.

“Most people will not understand how, in the 21st century, children can slip through the net in the way yours did.”

He referred to the couple’s comfortable life and said both were drinking heavily, adding: “Shortage of money does not lie behind this.”

The court heard Askew and Whittaker met when they were 15. Whittaker, who has also had a number of miscarriages and abortions, had her first child at 16 and cared for her for two years.

But after the others were born the pair began to neglect them all.

Quizzed by police about the filthy house, Askew replied: “It could do with tidying more.” He agreed the twins looked “a little underweight”.

All the kids are now in foster care and thriving. The eldest is said to be bright — and never asks about her parents. One of the twins is part-blind but doctors cannot say if it is a direct result of malnutrition.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: childabuse; children; cruelty; greatbritain; neglect
Only seven years?
1 posted on 11/23/2004 8:28:22 PM PST by Stoat
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To: Stoat

Sick. Send them to Fallujah, one way ticket!


2 posted on 11/23/2004 8:32:04 PM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
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To: Stoat

I fear that the severe malnutrition has cause permanent brain damage in the children. There is no punishment too bad for those people.


3 posted on 11/23/2004 8:33:55 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (God is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: Stoat
And the English are SO concerned about how the US Military treats terrorists... I hope "The Mirror" reported on this story with the same anger and fury they have bestowed on the US in the past couple of years. Disgusting... and why is it that people like that can have child after child, not wanting them, and there are many around the world that would give up all worldly possessions just to have one child. Sickening. I pray the children will grow up happy from this time on and will have no real memories of this time in their lives. Seven years hardly seems like a fair sentence... how about 7 per offense? That's a little bit more understandable.
4 posted on 11/23/2004 8:40:11 PM PST by texas mom of one
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To: Stoat
Relatives who babysat for the couple

Pardon me, but why aren't we reading about their prison sentences too?

5 posted on 11/23/2004 8:41:43 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Stoat
Whittaker, who has also had a number of miscarriages and abortions, had her first child at 16 and cared for her for two years.

This is why this happened. But will anyone do the research to see if there is a causal link between abortion and other forms of child abuse? I doubt it.

6 posted on 11/23/2004 8:42:31 PM PST by DeltaZulu
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To: Stoat
Askew and Whittaker — who wept as she was sent down — each admitted five counts of cruelty.

I hope you cry yourself to death.

7 posted on 11/23/2004 8:44:48 PM PST by BlessedBeGod (George W. Bush -- The Terror of the Terrorists)
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To: Stoat

Just ick! They should have gotten more than 7 years for this.

I read an article today about a lady from TX who cut off both her child's arms, called 9-1-1 and told them what she'd done, and sat and calmly waited for the police to arrive. The really sad thing about this is she'd threatened her child's life before, and they gave the child back to her.


8 posted on 11/23/2004 8:51:00 PM PST by Theresawithanh (Tagline go away, where tagline? He-e-e-e-e-e-re tagline.......)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
"I fear that the severe malnutrition has cause permanent brain damage in the children. There is no punishment too bad for those people."

A long trip on a short length rope is called for.

9 posted on 11/23/2004 8:53:26 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: Stoat

I found another artile about this case w/a few more details.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/11/24/nabuse24.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/11/24/ixportal.html


10 posted on 11/23/2004 8:54:41 PM PST by texas mom of one
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To: DTogo

It would be an appropriate way station on the way to Hell.


11 posted on 11/23/2004 8:57:15 PM PST by coydog (My bathroom djinn can beat up your bathroom djinn!)
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To: DTogo

I'd like to see them go somewhat souther and hotter myself.


12 posted on 11/23/2004 8:58:51 PM PST by coydog (My bathroom djinn can beat up your bathroom djinn!)
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To: coydog

Leave them in Fallujah with T-shirts in Arabic that says something extremely offensive about Islam and Zarqawi, and has a Union Jack on the back.


13 posted on 11/23/2004 9:07:42 PM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
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To: Stoat

What a bunch of monsters! Why do they even have kids to begin with???????? They need to die a slow and painful death.


14 posted on 11/23/2004 9:19:46 PM PST by Ptarmigan (Proud rabbit hater and killer)
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To: DTogo

I'll go you one better: slather them in BBQ sauce and dump them in Grizzly country.


15 posted on 11/23/2004 9:22:32 PM PST by coydog (My bathroom djinn can beat up your bathroom djinn!)
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To: Stoat

It would appear that the Brits have the same Child Welfare Standards as are found in the US. I mean, give me a break! After reading the article I see that the authorities had recently inspected and found nothing amiss. Likewise, school authorities either ignored or not concerned about the condition of these children. The "Relatives" suggested that something be done. All of this in the face of the obvious long term abuse of these children. Sounds like something out of Texas!


16 posted on 11/23/2004 9:26:05 PM PST by drt1
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To: Stoat

Throw them in a cell, and throw away the cell!


17 posted on 11/23/2004 9:31:07 PM PST by Deo volente (God willing, Terri Schiavo will live.)
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To: Stoat
Relatives who babysat for the couple told Whittaker to do something about the children. But she never did.

Where I come from, we call these "accomplices."

18 posted on 11/23/2004 9:34:58 PM PST by wizardoz (Arafat's funeral was the Wellstone memorial, with guns.)
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To: drt1
Sounds like something out of Texas!

Just curious, why is it that you choose to focus your invective upon Texas, specifically?

19 posted on 11/23/2004 9:38:45 PM PST by Stoat
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To: drt1

Yeah right troll, remember the case in NYC where the little girl DIED and the "father" is now out of jail and had jobs waiting for him in TV and/or radio ?


20 posted on 11/23/2004 9:58:26 PM PST by 1066AD
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To: Stoat

Seven years? I think they left off several zeros. They should be sterilized, rot in jail in gen pop and THEN they can go to Hell. And I'm feeling charitable tonight.


21 posted on 11/23/2004 10:08:01 PM PST by reaganaut (Red state girl in a Blue state world (Socialist Republic of California))
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To: 1066AD
First off I am not a Troll. Second, Texas is no better or worse than any other state re: The quality and competence of the big gov't child services people (i.e., They are for the most part populated by incompetents or worse). I simply used it as an example given the recent horror of the woman who cut off her baby's arms - This after Child Services and State Psychologists had dealt with this woman over a period of several months leading up to this atrocity and, according to the caseworker, "Everything seemed fine".

Your citation of the Steinberg (?) case in New York is yet another example of the failings of the state with respect to the protection of the helpless so, you see, it is endemic to the system, not to a specific State.
22 posted on 11/23/2004 10:09:21 PM PST by drt1
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To: Stoat

Bring back the gallows!


23 posted on 11/23/2004 10:09:47 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: Stoat

Scum. Pure scum
I cannot fathom what internal disconnect is going on with these people. I couldn't leave a dog in that situation never mind my own kids. Are they missing a compassion gene?

What also baffles me is how a babysitter could look at this situation and not react in a more proactive way.

One thing for sure. Her reception in the womans prison will not be a pretty one. I dont think his little dose of "porridge" (UK slang for a jail term) is going to have sugar on it either


24 posted on 11/23/2004 10:11:00 PM PST by weegie
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To: Stoat
Please see my post 22. It's not about Texas, it's about the deficiencies of so-called Child Protective Services institutions.
25 posted on 11/23/2004 10:13:47 PM PST by drt1
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To: drt1

OK, sorry.


26 posted on 11/23/2004 10:22:57 PM PST by 1066AD
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To: 1066AD

Thanks. Actually, it probably would have been a better example of what I was trying to convey if I had cited Florida as an example (But I would have Pi**ed someone else off!). The point is that ALL states are in a race for the bottom in the area of Child Protection and the psychological testing and evaluation is another story by itself.


27 posted on 11/23/2004 10:31:25 PM PST by drt1
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To: drt1

Thank you for your clarification. I'm sure you understand the need for my question, as making defamatory comments about Texas for no apparent reason has, for many inarticulate Leftists, become a substitute for voicing their normal hysterical lies about President Bush and an oblique way of criticizing the current Administration, which they think is terribly clever.
Naturally, this horrific circumstance could occur anywhere on the planet, including Socialist Meccas such as Scandinavia. It's more of a reflection of the absolute depravity and evil of these two people, and an illustration of how terrible people can do terrible things to others rather than a commentary on any particular country or society.


28 posted on 11/23/2004 10:38:21 PM PST by Stoat
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To: DTogo

Sick. Send them to Fallujah, one way ticket!<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<,

Don't bother, one in the back of the head for each of them.


29 posted on 11/23/2004 10:41:40 PM PST by politicalmerc (Kerry/Edwards rejected not elected http://www.tdowc.com/store/catalog)
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To: weegie
"I cannot fathom what internal disconnect is going on with these people."

its called the Pleasure Principle....

I will rant til my death bed that we humans have to have SOME control over our basic instincts and we have to actually DENY ourselves some pleasure in order for civilization to survive....

I know in my heart that living a moral life has as its result a better society, a better culture....

but throw in drugs and alcohol and promiscuity without any reguard to anything else..and this is what you get....animals...absolute animals.....

30 posted on 11/23/2004 10:42:56 PM PST by cherry
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To: Stoat

I see. Really didn't think of THAT Texas angle - Oops! I'm 97% W and would be 100% if immigration, failure to veto excessive spending and equalization of trade policy were adequately addressed.


31 posted on 11/23/2004 10:43:00 PM PST by drt1
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To: DeltaZulu

Exactly.


32 posted on 11/23/2004 10:43:29 PM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: adiaireton8

My wish is that they both be sterilized. God forbid they should have any more children! You can't get much sicker than to treat your own children like garbage! The relatives are no better. I hope they are all tormented by this for the rest of their lives. No rest (or peace) for the wicked!


33 posted on 11/23/2004 11:39:06 PM PST by derllak
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To: Alabama MOM

Ping


34 posted on 11/24/2004 12:19:19 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny (Today, please pray for God's miracle, we are not going to make it without him.)
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