A FATHER of eight was left to look after all his children when his wife went to Pakistan because a relative was sick.

Blackburn magistrates heard when social workers went to the family home in Blackburn on a pre-arranged visit they found five of the children had been left home alone.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the children were dirty and dishevelled and had not eaten since the previous day.

And she said once the children had been taken into care the house was boarded up and condemned it was in such a state.

The man, who cannot be named because it would identify the children, pleaded guilty to five charges of child neglect.

He was committed on bail to Preston Crown Court to be sentenced, with a condition of bail that he does not contact any of his children.

Miss Allan said children in the house were aged between 10 months and 13 years of age.

There had been concerns over their welfare in the past, with a number of missed appointments with medical professionals. In the past, a four- year-old child of the family was found wandering the streets on his own.

“The parents had been sent a letter saying social services would be visiting on the date of the offence in October,” said Miss Allan.

“When social workers knocked on the door a five-year-old child came into view but did not open the door. They could not leave and called the police.”

Miss Allan said the children were unkempt. The baby was rocking itself for self-comfort and another child was banging his head, another sign of self-comfort. “Three children looked malnourished and none had eaten since the day before,” said Miss Allan.

Amjid Mahmood, defending, said the defendant’s wife had been in Pakistan for two weeks at the time of the incident.

“Even the most wonderful parent in the world would struggle with eight children under the age of 13,” said Mr Mahmood.

“He accepts it was a very poor decision on his part to leave the children. He had taken three to Tesco to do some shopping. A friend who was meant to come and sit with the children let him down.”

Mr Mahmood said his client claimed the children had been fed that morning and the night before when they had a takeaway. “He says the children had clothes and disputes that they were in a filthy state,” said Mr Mahmood.