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Neglect case girl 'ate cat food' to survive

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image captionMr Carrick denies wilfully neglecting and ill-treating three girls between 2011 and 2013

A teenager has told a court she ate cat food as a child when there was nothing else to eat at home.

The girl, aged 11 or 12 at the time, claimed she was told there was no money for food and rarely ate meals in the flat she lived in with Derek Carrick.

She said that during the time she stayed at his flat in Knightswood, Glasgow, she was bullied.

Mr Carrick, 42, denies wilfully neglecting and ill-treating three girls between 2011 and 2013.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that the youngest of the girls was aged three.

The teenager she said she lived with Mr Carrick and two other girls when she was aged about 11 or 12 and left when she was 13.

Bugs and lice

She said that they were not allowed in the living room unless they were going to the kitchen to try and make something to eat.

The court heard Mr Carrick did not always make anything and spent long periods sleeping.

The witness said most of the time she did not eat breakfast as "there wasn't anything there to eat".

Jurors also heard Mr Carrick only made dinner "occasionally".

The witness told the court: "Most of the time there wasn't anything there and if there was, it wasn't enough".

Asked by procurator fiscal depute Ruth Ross-Davie what she did when there was no food, the witness replied: "There was a few occasions I ate cat food."

The teenager was asked if she told Mr Carrick about it.

She replied: "I mentioned it a few times, his response was he didn't have any money, it wasn't his fault."

Bullied because of smell

The witness said the cat was kept in the kitchen and if there was clean litter, it would be changed.

But she added it could go "weeks and weeks on end" without clean litter.

Jurors also heard the bathroom in the flat smelled and the bath had bugs in it.

The witness also confirmed she had head lice "continuously" and was given second-hand black jogging bottoms for school.

During cross-examination by defence counsel Margaret Breslin the teenager told how she was made fun of at school because her clothes were not new.

Miss Breslin put to her: "You didn't want to be different from all the others?"

The witness replied: "No, because it's bad enough being bullied at school because of the way I smelled and the way I looked without having to get bullied for something else."

She said she did not have the time or energy to wash her hair.

The trial, before Sheriff Martin Jones QC, continues.