Six children were forced to live in a house of horrors "not fit for human habitation" and were surrounded by dog faeces, mouse droppings, and used nappies on a daily basis, a court heard.
Authorities were initially made aware of the siblings' horrendous living conditions when police were called to reports of an argument between their parents.
Judge Andew Menary, QC, told Liverpool Crown Court that it looked as if "the filthy contents of a skip have been emptied in every room", Liverpool Echo reports.
The judge added that the house, in Wirral, was "not fit for human habitation" and that "nothing" could have prepared officers for what they found inside.
Jaw-dropping photos of the inside of the home show food packets and bottles piled high in the sinks and bathtub, with rubbish littered across the floors making the ground hard to find.
A thick layer of dust can also be seen to have built up along the surfaces, while piles of clothes lie abandoned on the floor next to a filthy, stained sofa cushion.
The judge said jailing the couple – who admitted to child cruelty – would have a harmful impact on two children over 16 now back in the mum's care and the other victims may not be returned to them "for a very long time, if ever".
He said "unbelievably" the couple had a dog which had "free rein" and "used every room apparently as a toilet".
Judge Menary said: "There really are no words to describe it.
"There were mouse droppings and dead mice throughout the house. The bathroom didn't function properly and the toilets were utterly vile.
"There was no semblance or opportunity really for any activity resembling normal, healthy family life."
Judge Menary said the children lived on takeaways, snack bars, school breakfast clubs and meals cooked in "squalor".
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Trevor Parry-Jones, prosecuting, said the home was "more reminiscent of the Victoria slum era".
He said officers called for help, evacuated the children and asked for food and clean clothing, before the victims went into care.
Judge Menary demanded a report from Wirral council on the children's welfare and what action was taken to protect them – after it emerged social services were first made aware of problems at the house 10 years ago.
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Having read the report, he today said there had been "extensive, directed intervention by social services" and other agencies.
Foster carers said the younger children arrived with "ingrained dirt" and complaining of not having eaten because there wasn't food in the home.
The parents failed to seek medical intervention for one child who had sight problems and another who had double incontinence, but these issues have since cleared up.
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Mr Parry-Jones said the children were well behaved and polite, but all had "educational attainment levels well below expected targets".
He said the parents were fined for the children's "sporadic" school attendance and the youngest was not in nursery, had no routine and spent days with her dad, who had drinking problems, while the mum was at work.
When arrested, the dad accepted the conditions were "very bad" but claimed he'd cleaned up about a month previously.
The mum confessed the bathroom hadn't been used "for years", said only takeaways were eaten, the home was "vile" and she'd let it get that way.
Christopher McMaster, defending the mum, said photos showed work since done by her to renovate the home.
Judge Menary said: "It begs the question why it wasn't done before."
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Mr McMaster said she had been working very long hours, six days a week, but now worked four days.
Judge Menary gave them each two years in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 15 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days.
He told the dad to complete 150 hours of unpaid work, and the mum 80 hours of unpaid work and a three-month home curfew, from 8pm to 6am daily.
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