HomeGlasgow NewsToddler starved covered in headlice while mum felt ‘no guilt’

Toddler starved covered in headlice while mum felt ‘no guilt’

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A post-mortem revealed the toddler had been the victim of ‘severe neglect’ (Pictures: PA/Facebook)

An evil mum left her toddler to starve in a ‘grubby’ flat and neglected her for months, an inquiry has heard.

Margaret Wade’s two-year-old daughter Lauren was ‘skinny and dirty’ and infested with lice when she died.

She also had a sodden nappy and bald patches across her head.

A further probe into Lauren’s death began today.

Wade, 41, and her partner Marie Sweeney, 40, left the toddler to starve to death at their flat in Glasgow’s Sighthill, a judge was told.

The toddler suffered without proper food or care for months and was riddled with ‘thousands’ of head lice.

On March 20 2015, a 999 call was made after she was found to be ‘unresponsive’ in the home.

Lauren was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead just 30 minutes later.

Wade, 38, claimed she had ‘no guilt’ over the death of two-year-old Lauren (Picture: PA)

Wade told concerned nurses that Lauren had been suffering from a virus for a couple of days.

But a post mortem revealed the toddler had been the victim of ‘severe neglect’ prior to her death.

Wade, who later said she had ‘no guilt’ over the death, and Sweeney were jailed in 2019 for six years and four months each.

The duo – who had been accused of killing Lauren – had pled guilty to the reduced charge of neglecting the toddler between June 2014 and March 2015.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) lasting five weeks commenced today at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

School nurse Sharon McIntyre, 52, told the hearing how she made an unannounced visit to Wade’s flat in June 2014 after the mum had cancelled a pre-arranged appointment.

A judge heard how the two-year-old went without proper food or care for months (Picture: Facebook)

The nurse claimed that she was told the flat was a ‘mess’ but was able to persuade her to be let in.

Mrs McIntyre added: ‘When I went into the living room there was a mattress on the floor in front of the TV and a large pile of clothes were on and behind the sofa.

‘There was Lauren’s cot in the living room as well.

‘The place was grubby if not untidy.

‘I remember Lauren trying to crawl up on my lap.’

Miss McIntyre stated that Wade refused help to deal with head lice and was told she was ‘coping herself.’

Prosecutor Selina Brown asked Miss McIntyre if she believed Wade was herself coping and she replied: ‘At that point, probably not.’

The hearing was told that Miss McIntyre referred Wade to social work and a Positive Parenting Programme after the visit.

The FAI also surrounded concerns from staff at Wade’s two older daughters’ primary school over the family’s dealing with their head lice treatment.

Marie Sweeney, 37, who sentenced to six years and four months following Lauren’s death (Picture: PA)

Deputy head teacher Yvonne Adams, 55, recalled a meeting she had at school with Wade.

She said: ‘A head lice was crawling across mum’s forehead and my table, I thought she was in a vulnerable position as well.’

Former head teacher Anne Healy, 67, told the hearing that she also met with Wade who ‘kept her hood up’ the entire time.

‘The fact she kept her hood up, what would that mean?’ asked Miss Brown.

Miss Healy replied: ‘I think it was because she had head lice.’

Wade’s former health visitor Carol Murray, 60, claimed that she met her and Lauren 11 days after giving birth.

She stated that Wade was an ‘attentive’ mother who ‘interacted’ with her daughter.

Ms Murray said, at that point, there were no issues with Wade she would have raised with social work teams.

The witness earlier claimed that she stopped being the Wade health visitor in March 2013 after taking up a new job.

The FAI continues before Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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