A CRUEL Hounslow couple jailed for neglecting their seriously injured and malnourished young children have had their sentences cut on appeal.

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were each jailed for four years at Isleworth Crown Court last year after admitting eight counts of child cruelty between them.

Their three children, aged 15 months to five years, must have shown signs of their fractured bones and 'complained bitterly' but received no help, the judge said at the time.

However, senior judges at London's Court of Appeal yesterday (Monday, March 26) slashed their jail terms by eight months each.

Mr Justice Wilkie said the original sentences were 'manifestly excessive', despite evidence of injuries which were likely to have been clear to both parents.

The couple's negligence first came to light when staff at the oldest child's school found him covered in bruises.

When social workers visited the couple's flat they found two toddlers playing unsupervised beside a glass coffee table. A heater had also been left on by the mother, who was in a flat opposite.

The mother, in her 30s, admitted three counts of cruelty by neglect and two of cruelty by wilful abandonment.

The father, also in his 30s, pleaded guilty to three counts of cruelty by neglect, despite both denying knowledge of the injuries.

They will both be eligible for automatic release after serving half of their new sentences.