Newington Green hoarder’s snake-infested bathroom forces two young children to use lounge as a toilet


A hoarder left two young children in a house piled high with rubbish, where the living room was a toilet.

Police were called to Cheryl Bramble’s home in Watson Close, Newington Green in the early hours of the morning after several complaints about smell.

Bramble, 32, refused to open the door to officers and would only speak to them through the letterbox.

When they finally gained entry they found rubbish was at least a foot deep at the front door, rising steadily further inside until it touched the ceiling.

One officer who crawled to reach the lounge discovered decades of refuse there piled five feet high, an overpowering smell of urine and faeces smeared all over the windows.

There was no electric lighting anywhere in the home and the ceilings were thick with cobwebs and filth.

One child came to the front door when police arrived, and a toddler was found wearing just a t-shirt behind a pile of rubbish watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

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Bramble claimed she began using the front room as a toilet because she was too scared to go in the bathroom after finding a snake in the room.

Molly Pinkus, prosecuting, said: “Bramble was interviewed at Stoke Newington police station and she admitted she had had difficulty coping with everything.

“They would eat takeaway food, and she would avoid visits from the health visitor so they would not see the state of her home.”

Bramble admitted child neglect at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Karina Arden, for Bramble, said that her client had extensive but undiagnosed mental health issues for years before her home was searched.

She said: ‘This is not cruelty, this is neglect, and the circumstances of this offence are that she was in a severe psychotic state herself.”

Bramble was handed a two-year supervision order.