South East Wales

Cwmbran couple locked son, two, in dog cage

A couple kept their two-year-old boy in a dog cage and nicknamed him "the devil child", Newport Crown Court has heard.

The couple from Cwmbran, who cannot be named, put the boy in the cage, secured with a cord, in his bedroom to keep him under control.

They both admitted wilfully ill treating a young person under 16.

They were given 26 week terms, suspended for two years. They must do 200 hours unpaid work and are subject to a two-year supervision order.

The court heard police raided their home after an anonymous tip-off.

The South Wales Argus reported the boy's toys were found inside the cage with a baby's bottle and blanket.

Watch DVDs

The child's mother claimed she only put the child inside when she was doing her housework.

Prosecutor John Probert said: "Officers found he was locked inside the cage at various times day and night.

"Other family members told police his parents described him as the devil child.

"His mother told police she would put him in it while she caught up with her household chores.

"And she claimed he would watch DVDs while in the cage and would often leave his bed to lie in it."

Foster care

The court heard the boy had scratches and bruises on his arms like "finger marks" and was often left with his nappy unchanged.

Alex Greenwood, defending, said the mother had suffered depression after giving birth to the boy prematurely.

He said: "The father told police they were good parents who had never hit the boy.

"But the consequences of their actions has been catastrophic for them both."

The parents had been remanded in custody pending Tuesday's sentencing hearing.

The boy is in foster care.

Judge David Morris also disqualified both parents from working with children.