Police found the kitchen cupboards were bare and the fridge had been padlocked when they were called out to investigate serious concerns about the children’s care at the fly-infested flat in Camden.
The youngsters were all barefoot, had dirty skin and apparently had not washed for some time, Wood Green crown court heard.
Officers could not find any spare clothes in the children’s bedrooms, there were no adult socks, and no toys were present in the home.
Dimly-lit living areas were sparsely furnished with no TV or dining table, there was no soap or toilet roll in the bathroom, and one of the bedrooms where two of the children slept simply had a mattress on the floor, the court heard.
In stark contrast, the mother and father enjoyed the use of a bedroom with a double bed and TV, together with cosy furnishings, piles of cushions, house plants and stuffed panda bears.
The couple pleaded not guilty to a series of neglect charges but were convicted following a criminal trial, and could now face jail terms when they are sentenced in December.
“This was an appalling case of child cruelty”, said Fiona Whillis, a senior prosecutor from the CPS North London. “These children were neglected and failed by their own parents.”
She said the children “were found unkempt, living in dirty conditions sitting in a dark bare room filled with flies.
“They had been living in complete contrast to their mother and father who had a luxurious bedroom filled with comfortable linen, lights and even a television inside the same home.
“The prosecution case included photographic evidence of the dire living conditions the children were subjected to. This included a bathroom with no toilet roll or soap, and a fridge that was padlocked shut with no other food provisions inside the cupboards.
“These defendants showed an utter disregard for their duty as parents and wilfully allowed their children to suffer.”
The parents cannot be identified to protect the court-ordered anonymity of their children, who have now been taken into foster care.