12 YEAR OLD BOY GOES BLIND, PARENTS CLAIM THEY WERE TOO BUSY TO NOTICE – CCA0165 – UPDATED 10.15.2014
12 YEAR OLD BOY GOES BLIND, PARENTS CLAIM THEY WERE TOO BUSY TO NOTICE
There are some cases that come in, and all I can do is sit there and cry, asking how this could happen. I know when the victims are especially close to my sons’ ages, it is a struggle to tell their stories without crying every time I begin typing. This is one of those stories.
Gillian Hendry and Craig Dick need to be thrown in a cold jail cell and left there to rot. That’s essentially what they did to their son. They neglected the 12 year old for so long, that they claim to have not noticed their son going blind in one eye. This young man suffered from cataracts which were allowed to get so bad that he lost sight in his left eye completely and the eye turned white from the cataract. If only he was taken to his appointments, his sight would have been saved, his condition was treatable but they ignored him like a piece of trash and he now will not only live with his blindness, but he will live with the knowledge that it was his parents that caused it. IT GETS WORSE.
This beautiful young man also became increasingly crippled with a form of juvenile arthritis, and will now forever have a limp. The heroes in this case are the boy’s doctors. His doctors were actually the ones to call DCF when the boy missed numerous appointments to receive the treatment he so desperately needed. To those doctors – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
(I have to ask myself though, was the young man not attending school?? Was there other opportunities to stop the abuse that weren’t taken? I just can’t see how anyone could have been around this young man on a regular basis and not raise concern for his health.)
When social workers went to the home, the couple would not let them inside. So social workers returned, this time with police, and what they found is shocking and repulsive. Hendry and Dick were both found to be frantically trying to tidy the home they were forcing the young man and his 2 year old sister to live in. The house was not suitable for a rat to live in, much less two beautiful children. The house was littered with rotted food, full garbage bags and dirty diapers.
The kitchen was infested with flies, and I can only imagine what else. The bathroom was completely unusable, the toilet squalid and the bath filled with cold, stagnant, dirty water. One of the bedrooms had been used as the toilet. The conditions of where the children slept were just as terrible. There were no covers and the mattresses were completely filthy, in fact, the 2 year old’s mattress was damp and mouldy in her crib. The only halfway livable room in the house, just happened to be the couples bedroom.
The children were immediately taken into custody and Hendry and Dick were arrested. So what was their excuse for all of this neglect, abuse and completely cruel and vile actions or rather inactions? They actually stated that they were TOO BUSY TO NOTICE. The couple insisted that they never looked either of their children in the face. Here’s the other little fact not mentioned, the two were living on government benefits and did not have jobs … so what were they SO busy with??? Hendry’s lawyer, Peter Wishlade, stated that she had told him she was depressed and had ‘let everything slip’, despite the fact that her ‘depression’ was medically unsupported. Even Wishlade is left with his hands in the air saying ‘She can’t give any reason why the house was allowed to get into that state and why appointments were not kept. I don’t know how this happened. I can’t explain it. This behaviour really is quite remarkable.”
Dick’s lawyer, Jim Withyman, says Dick was a man who could not even take care of his own personal hygiene. Withyman stated “It is quite clear he is an adequate man, he will never look after children again. … There is a deficiency in him by allowing his children to live in such appalling conditions.”
The judge responded to comments about Dick’s personal hygiene saying “The conditions we have seen in the photographs are appalling. To speak of indolence or the particular hygiene standards of yourself really does not explain it. It is impossible to use that as an explanation when you tried to prevent the entry of social services or the police, knowing the state was unacceptable.”
Hendry was sentenced to 2 ½ years in jail while Dick was sentenced to 2 years and 2 months after they admitted to cruelty and pled guilty to two charges of child neglect each.
The young man is now living with his biological father, and the baby girl has been put up for adoption.
I know these two perfect children are in a better place, but I still just can’t move past being heartbroken for them.
They deserved better, and it is our job to make sure another child never suffers as they did again. Ensuring that is well within our power and this is what continues to motivate everyone at LTWH to advocate for children who need us to be their voice.