A father of four children found living in squalor at Fairy Meadow in July has been fined for neglect.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, failed to turn up at Port Kembla Local Court on Tuesday to answer four charges of neglecting a child or young person in his care, and a series of unrelated driving charges.
Police discovered the children living in appalling conditions, which included large mounds of rubbish and dirty clothing in every room, cockroaches throughout the house and human excrement on the bathroom floor, while serving court attendance notices on the man for the driving offences.
The court heard police were so concerned by the scene that confronted them they removed the children – who they described as appearing not to have showered in days – from the house immediately.
Police discovered rubbish and dirty clothing covering the entire floor of every room, and a bong and syringes inside the house within easy reach of the children, who ranged in age from 5 to 13 years old.
The kitchen had been infested by cockroaches and flies, dirty dishes lined the bench and the smell of rotting food emanated from the fridge.
Officers said the toilet and shower area appeared ‘‘almost unusable’’.
The children’s mother, who also cannot be named, was fined $2000 when she appeared before the court earlier this month.
On Tuesday, the man was handed the same fine as his wife for the neglect offences, as well as an additional $2350 in fines for the driving charges.