Three young brothers living in Northern Ireland may be sent back to their Eastern European homeland after their parents were convicted of a catalogue of abuse towards them, the Belfast Telegraph revealed today.
However, their baby sister — born just last year — may be returned to live with her cruel and brutal parents.
The boys — who are currently living with a foster family — were taken into care in 2006, shortly after they arrived in Northern Ireland, after being found by the police in an horrific condition.
They were left starving, dirty and closed in one room on a mattress
One of the children had marks on his body consistent with physical abuse
The youngest brother — then aged just two — was wearing a urine-soaked and disintegrating nappy.
All three children had to have their heads shaved after excrement was found in their hair.
Both parents were prosecuted for child cruelty and abandonment and were given a suspended court sentence.
They are still living in Northern Ireland.
However, the Southern Health and Social Care Trust has said it must consider sending the children back to Eastern Europe to their extended family. The boys’ baby sister was taken into foster care a short time after she was born.
However, a source close to the case has confirmed that plans are now underway to return her to her violent parents and thus separate her from her brothers.
The boys, their sister and their parents are not being named, nor the country of birth revealed, to protect the youngsters’ identities. The boys are now aged five, six and seven.
Their case is due to be heard by a family court in Belfast later this month when a decision is expected to be taken on the boys’ future.
The eldest child has said he wants to stay in Northern Ireland and it is understood that this is being considered — but that his brothers still may return home to live with their mother’s sisters.
The boys’ mother grew up in a large family and had a childhood of poverty and domestic violence. She moved in with her husband when she was just 16 years old.
A family friend told the Telegraph: “We are seriously concerned about the possibility of the boys going back to Eastern Europe.
“They have settled well in Northern Ireland, don’t really know their extended family and also fear that their parents may eventually return home some day.”
A Southern Health and Social Care Trust spokeswoman said: “We cannot comment on individual cases.
“However, where children from another country become looked after the trust has a duty to explore all extended family care options for children who cannot return to the care of their birth family.
“This is in line with southern trust policy for considering all extended family options before other placement options are considered.
“Where this involves children from another country (outside the UK) options are explored with the relevant authorities in the children’s country of origin.”
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