Child Locked In Bedroom For 18-24 Months

The London home where a child was locked in a bedroom for 18-24 months. May 30, 2014. (Photo by Ashton Patis)

London police say a man and woman are facing charges after a child was locked in a bedroom for 18-24 months.

Police were called for assistance by the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex on May 29, around 1:45pm. CAS workers were checking on the welfare of a child at a home.

When police arrived, they met with the CAS worker and found that there were no adults at the home. The owners were contacted and told to come to the house. When they did, the officers and CAS worker went inside and found a 10-year-old boy locked in a bedroom, living in what police are calling “filthy conditions.” Investigators described a scene of food wrappers, feces, and urine.

The child is the nephew of the home owners. He was apprehended by the CAS and taken to hospital by ambulance.

Police say their investigation revealed the child had been locked in the master bedroom for a period of 18 to 24 months. He was fed fast food twice a day.  The master bedroom had an ensuite bathroom so the child had access to a toilet and shower. However, police say the conditions in the room and the rest of the house were squalid.

While in hospital, the child was determined to be underweight and suffering from malnutrition. He has been released from hospital and is in the care of the CAS.

Police say the couple’s biological child, a 9-year-old girl, was also apprehended by the CAS, but did not appear to have ever been locked in a room in the house.

Two adults, the 10-year-old child’s aunt and uncle, have been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life and forcible confinement.

“The tip to the Children’s Aid Society was received from a member of the public and was acted upon quickly by CAS. Neither the Children’s Aid Society nor the London Police Service had prior dealings with the occupants of the house or with anyone at that location,” a statement from police says. “The Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex had brief contact with the family involving another older child who is no longer in the home, at another location, in 2007. ”

No names are being released to protect the identities of the children. Police are still investigating.