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Couple kept boy, 11, in coal cellar as punishment for raiding refrigerator

A mother and stepfather who forced their 11-year-old son to live in a filthy converted coal cellar have each been jailed for two years by a British court.

The couple told police they locked the boy in the tiny windowless room as punishment for stealing food from the family refrigerator.

The child, who cannot be identified because of his age, was left to sleep on a dirty mattress with a sleeping bag for a blanket.

The rubbish-strewn room had no heating, a bare lightbulb and concrete walls and floor.

The couple in their 40s, who also cannot be named, both admitted a single charge of cruelty by wilful neglect at an earlier hearing at Preston Crown Court.

See the full story at ITV News

He was forced to spend nights in the outhouse, which was linked to the living room of the family home in Blackpool, Lancashire.

Judge Norman Wright said that the experience of being locked in a windowless room in "appalling conditions" had taken a physical and psychological toll on the child victim.

"It is bound, in my judgment, to be profound," he said.

The traumatized boy was made to live and sleep in the room, described as a "cell" by social workers, and reduced to using a potty as he was locked up each night until morning.

ITV News is the UK partner of NBC News.

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