Some environmental health workers were shocked to discover a disgusting home with a rotting corpse after they joked earlier on whether there was a dead body inside.
The squalid home in Knowsley, Merseyside, was covered in dead flies while a vile stench was found to be coming from inside.
Some of the neighbours who were concerned decided to alert the police and council workers to the scene to carry out a thorough check in the house.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the health officials initially joked if there was a dead body upstairs only to then discover the decomposing corpse on a search.
Pictures obtained by the Liverpool Echo show the appalling and filthy state of the house.
A woman whose identity and address were withheld for legal reasons was convicted of neglect after her two young children frequently stayed at her parents’ hovel home and were “exposed to risk of illness”.
Sarah Holt, prosecuting, told how the homeowner “gasped” and “nearly fell down the stairs” when the body of her son was discovered in his bedroom.
She said, “It’s not possible to say when he died and certainly not possible to say how he died.
The defendant and her parents were nabbed by the police on suspicion of concealing a body but charges were never brought.
The admitted to the charges of neglect on her 4-year-old and 5-year-old children who she reportedly took to her parents’ house regularly, against the advice of social services.
Mrs Holt said, “Every day she was going in and out of the property with her two boys.
“Social services had done their best to persuade the defendant that it was in her, and her children’s, best interests not to be at the house.”
Judge Stephen Everett, who viewed pictures of the house, described conditions as “absolutely disgusting”.
Speaking to the woman, she said, “The home was in a disgusting state. You described them yourself as hoarders. Even without the tragic circumstance of your brother’s death, the reality is that the house was not a place where young children should be.
“You lost all sense of responsibility to your children.
“We will never know in the days or weeks following your brother’s death why nobody did anything.
“He lay there in that bedroom and the smell was indescribable.
“For any mother to bring their children in that circumstance defies belief. You failed to see something that everyone else could, except the three of you.”
Judge Everett said the “silver lining” of the case was that the children were now said to be doing well under the care of guardians.
The woman was handed an 18-month community order. Judge Everett said the punishment would have been sterner had police delays not impeded the case.
Below are some of the photos. (Click on any image to enlarge).