A COUPLE who fed their five children pizza and ice cream for breakfast are facing jail after three of them had to have their teeth pulled out due to “significant decay”.

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week and pleaded guilty to wilfully neglecting three of the children causing them unnecessary suffering or injury, over an eight year period at their home in Kilwinning.

The couple, both 27, had been in a relationship for 10 years and had five children together aged, nine, seven, five, three and two, but had failed to provide the three eldest children with adequate dental care.

The court heard that a health visitor had attended the family home and witnessed the children eating pizza and ice cream for breakfast.

Fiscal depute Vicky McMillan said the couple’s eldest child had visited the dentist in May 2012 where decay was seen on her baby teeth and a plan was made to restore the teeth rather than extract them.

She told the court: “It was noted that there was poor dental hygiene and visible plaque.

“The dentist planned to place fissure sealants on the affected teeth to prevent damage.

“However, the couple failed to attend appointments for the child and in July 2012 she had to have four baby teeth removed under general anaesthetic.”

The court was then told another child was seen by the dentist in October 2014 and was found to have significant decay on three baby teeth which had to be extracted by general anaesthetic.

Later that month the same child had to have a further four teeth removed due to decay. On this occasion the dentist said this decay could have been attributed to nursing bottles and poor diet. The third child was registered with the dentist in April 2014 and it was noted that her oral hygiene was okay and there was no decay.

But Ms McMillan told the court the child returned to the dentist 10 months later suffering from toothache.

She cojnfirmed: “On February 4, 2015 she had an emergency appointment due to decay of a baby molar and the dentist noted that the gum was inflamed and she was suffering pain. He was given antibiotics and an appointment made for February 18, but the appointment was later cancelled by her parents.

“The dentist said poor oral hygiene and diet had contributed to the decay in the children’s mouths.”

As a result of concerns from the dentist and social services the children were removed from the couple’s care and put into foster care on February 17, 2016.

Their parents have not seen them since May 2016. The pair pled guilty to with wilfully neglecting three children in a manner likely to cause them unnecessary suffering or injury to health, and failing to provide adequate dental care.

Douglas McPhee was representing the children’s mother and said she was plagued with health problems and found it very difficult to deal with five children.

He said: “The mother is 27-years-old and has significant mental health problems and physical health problems due to poor diet, which has been a feature in this whole situation.

“She has admitted that she found the five children very difficult to deal with.”

Simon Brown, mitigating for the children’s father, said he was “a vulnerable adult”.

He said: “My client has a range of difficulties in that he is classed as a vulnerable adult, so much so that there should be an appropriate adult with him in court.”

Sheriff Shirley Foran agreed to defer sentencing of the pair and continued their bail.

They will return to court in January.