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Sex offender neglected young girls in squalid flat

Children ate cat food and toothbrush bristles to stave off hunger, court hears.

Court: Carrick will be sentenced in October (file pic).
Court: Carrick will be sentenced in October (file pic). Stephen Sweeney

A convicted sex offender has been found guilty of wilfully neglecting three school children over the two and a half years they were in his care.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard Derek Carrick allowed the girls to get so hungry that one was forced to eat cat food and another ate the bristles from her toothbrush.

Carrick's home in the city's Knightswood was filthy, with overflowing cat litter, dirty dishes and broken windows during the time he looked after them, jurors were told.

On Wednesday, the 42-year-old was unanimously convicted of wilfully neglecting and ill-treating the girls - then ten, nine and three - between February 2011 and October 2013.

It later emerged Carrick has a previous conviction from 1997 of lewd and libidinous practices toward children.

The youngest of the three girls, now nine, gave evidence that was recorded before the trial started and played to the jury.

During it, she said the house was dirty and smelly, in particular the living room where Carrick slept.

She said: "There were clothes everywhere, and boxes everywhere in the living room, on the couch and everything, it was just cat litter everywhere."

Carrick would often "slap" her if she woke him up too early, or wanted the light on because she was scared of the dark, she said.

She told jurors she was always hungry and often felt sick.

The nine-year-old said she was asked if she cleaned her teeth and said: "No."

She added: "I would try and eat my toothbrush I was that hungry, I would take off the bristles and eat them."

The eldest girl, now 18, was asked during her evidence if she ate breakfast and said "most of the time, no" and that "there wasn't anything there to eat".

The witness told jurors Carrick "occasionally" made dinner.

She said: "Most of the time there wasn't anything there and if there was, it wasn't enough".

Procurator fiscal depute Ruth Ross-Davie asked: "On occasion when there was no food, what did you do?"

She replied: "There were a few occasions I ate cat food."

The teenager also told the court there were no sanitary products for her to use, and Carrick refused to buy them for her.

Sheriff Martin Jones QC deferred sentence until October and continued Carrick's bail in the meantime.

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