Mum and partner guilty of neglect after tragic toddler starved to death in filthy flat

Lauren Wade. Picture: Facebook
Lauren Wade. Picture: Facebook
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The parents of a toddler who died are behind bars after they admitted to neglecting her throughout her short life.

Margaret Wade, 38, and Marie Sweeney, 37, were living with Lauren Wade in a filthy flat described by one detective as the worst he had seen.

The two year-old went without proper food or care for months. She was taken to hospital in March 2015, but died around 30 minutes after being admitted.

A judge heard that Lauren was dirty, severely underweight and riddled with “thousands” of head lice at the time.

Two older children who lived with the pair also suffered, but survived.

The jobless duo were later charged by police – after Wade said she had “no guilt” over the death.

Yesterday they faced a culpable homicide allegation at the High Court in Glasgow. But prosecutors accepted their guilty pleas to an amended charge of the wilful ill-treatment and neglect of Lauren.

They also admitted to the same crime in connection with the other two children.

Wade and Sweeney, of the city’s Townhead, were remanded in custody pending sentencing in the New Year.

The court heard the pair had been a couple for more than 15 years and both regarded themselves as Lauren’s “parents”.

They initially lived at a flat in Pinkston Drive in the city’s Sighthill before leaving for another property in nearby Fountainwell Drive in 2011.

Prosecutor Bill McVicar said the case involved “the same basic ill treatment and neglect” of Lauren and the other two children.

This included not keeping the youngsters clean as well as not providing proper food, clothes and medical care.

Mr McVicar: “The most significant effect of the failure to provide a proper diet is the malnutrition of Lauren which caused complications leading to her death.”

The court heard Lauren was “plainly unwell” and “emaciated” for days before she died.

A week before the death, Wade claimed to a neighbour Lauren had been “screaming all night” due to “teething”.

But, Mr McVicar said: “In fact, Lauren had a full set of teeth by that stage.” Days later, Wade then insisted a “pale and tired” Lauren had a cold.

On 20 March 2015, a 999 call was made after Lauren was found to be “unresponsive”. A post mortem revealed Lauren had been the victim of “severe neglect”.