AN 11-year-old boy who was so badly abused by his grandparents that he 'dreaded being alive' told them: "I love you, I hate you" in court.
The child, who lost his mum in childbirth, was accompanied by his foster parents to the sentencing of evil Jennifer and Rocky Wooldridge.
As he told the courtroom the horrifying account of his abuse at the hands of his guardians, he said: "I love you, I hate you" to the Wooldridges.
The boy wasn't allowed to leave his room and first landed on the police radar when he was taken to hospital with severe thermal burns.
The couple from Knoxville formally adopted the boy and his sister in 2017 after their mum died in childbirth in 2012.
They were given full custody of the children after being locked into a legal battle with their grandchildren's maternal grandparents.
Despite being a convicted criminal and former nurse, Rocky Woolridge, 50, was listed as his grandson's primary caregiver.
Suspicions first arose when the little boy was taken to hospital to be treated for thermal burns.
After police quizzed the boy on how he got the burns, the story kept changing – leading to officers raiding his grandparent's home in March.
The Wooldridges caused him to dread being alive
Iowa Human Services Department reported only one blanket and one pillow in the boy's bedroom, along with wet underwear and plastic sheeting.
The complaint also says the 11-year-old had injuries consistent with child abuse, including thermal burns on his feet and deep bruises.
Police observed him shaking and walking with difficulty.
According to a filing, a social worker said the boy had not been out of the house for two weeks and "did not appear to be free to move around the home."
Rocky also showed the social worker a motion detector system that sounded an alarm and set off flashing lights whenever the boy got out of bed and stepped on the floor.
According to court records, she found a plastic bag filled with pull-up nappies in the room.
The boy said how he wasn't allowed to leave his room to go to the bathroom and he hadn't been outside since the previous summer.
His foster parents described the boy as "beautifully kind-hearted" and "goofy, wild and full of life", but said he sill struggles from the abuse.
"The Wooldridges caused him to dread being alive", the foster mum said.
In his statement, the victim said: "Why did you lie? I don't like liars like you and your stupid husband."
The couple were charged with kidnapping, child endangerment and neglect of a dependent.
Jennifer, 43, was able to secure a plea deal after pleading guilty of child endangerment causing bodily injury, resulting in her receiving three years probation.
Rocky was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of neglect of a dependent person and two counts of child endangerment causing serious injury.
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