Moray dad admits not giving kids enough food
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A Moray father appeared in court today after admitting not giving enough food to two young children in his care.
The children's primary school became concerned after they began stealing from their classmates' lunch boxes.
A social worker who subsequently called at the family home in 2018 found padlocks on the fridge and cupboards.
When interviewed the children claimed they were given the same things to eat virtually every day.
This consisted of porridge at 7am, then two slices of toast at about 11am, followed by baked beans for tea at 5pm.
A medical examination was carried out at Dr Gray's Hospital by a doctor whose opinion was that both children were undernourished.
One was also found to have severe eczema on their legs which had not been treated.
Fiscal Depute Karen Poke told Elgin Sheriff Court that the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, became angry when it was first suggested he was not feeding his children properly.
However on the morning of his trial he changed his plea and admitted a charge of causing them unnecessary suffering and injury to their health.
Defence solicitor Ben Thom told the court that his client was a first-time offender who had long been "in denial".
Mr Thom said: "He profusely apologies to the court and, more importantly, to his own children."
The solicitor added that the defendant had changed jobs the year before his offences were uncovered.
This left him working irregular hours and finding it harder to cope as a parent.
Mr Thom added: "It's not an excuse but it is an explanation.
"He did not willingly set out to deprive his children of food.
"This has been an eye-opening experience for him."
Both children were taken into care and have had no contact with the defendant for the past three years.
It was added that although the man would like to see them again, any visits would only take place if it was what the children wanted.
Sheriff David Mackie ordered the defendant to be placed under the supervision of social workers for the next 12 months.