Horror conditions inside meth-addicted mum’s home

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    Police found feces on the floor, rotting food in the fridge, and not enough beds in an Adelaide home where four children were in the care of their meth-addicted mother, a court has heard. Glenys Kupfer, 34, pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to provide adequate food, clothing, and accommodation to a child.

    The mother-of-six failed in caring for her four youngest children, aged eight, three, two, and 12-months, in 2019. Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday heard she was struggling as a newly single parent, was addicted to meth, and was traumatized by the death of her brother, which she witnessed.

    Police prosecutor Scott Mesecke said officers and Department of Child Protection staff attended Ms. Kupfer’s Blair Athol home about 8.45pm on March 1, 2019, and witnessed the “squalid” conditions. He said there were not enough beds for the number of people living on the property, and they were dirty.

    Horror

    The court heard the “cluttered” lounge room had a mattress on top of the lounge chairs, and feces were scattered on the floor in the lounge room, bathroom and kitchen. Rotting food was also located inside the fridge, the court heard.

    On that occasion, Mr. Mesecke described the house as “disheveled and unkept” but said the property was later in a “clean and tidy state” when police revisited her home on June 27 — after her children were removed from her care.

    “The transcript of the record of the interview does show she recognized the premises was quite unkempt and explained the difficulties she was facing.” The court heard the mother later had a support network in place and attended a parenting course.

    Edward Stratton-Smith, for the defense, said his client’s drug use became “very heavy” as a way to deal with grief after her brother died in “violent circumstances,” and she accepted she did not prioritize her children. He said having her children removed resulted in a “dramatic turnaround,” and she had not touched drugs since.

    The court heard the father of the four children at the center of Ms. Kupfer’s charges left her homeless for some time, initially taking the children before returning and going them in her care before leaving again.

    “She accepted her neglect and didn’t shy away from it,” Mr. Stratton-Smith said. “In the two years since her children have left, she’s a very different person to then … Her singular focus is her children. “Long term, she’d like to benefit others through her experiences and help other families in some way.”

    Mr. Stratton-Smith asked Magistrate Nicolas Alexandrides to consider handing down a good behavior bond so Ms. Kupfer could remain “on her path to recovery or rehabilitation,” which was “the best thing for her children”.

    “A conviction for neglecting your own child is a severe thing, and that in itself brings a great deal of shame to the defendant,” he said. “While this is serious, there is no doubt the court has seen more serious examples.” Mr. Mesecke said he would not call for a jail sentence based on the circumstances. Ms. Kupfer will reappear in September to be sentenced.

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