A ten year-old schoolgirl has been forced to sleep in a dog cage as her parents ran out of ways to keep her safe.

Sadie cannot speak or communicate

Sadie cannot speak or communicate

Sadie Fenton Hunt suffers from a rare form of epilepsy that is so dangerous she is prone to hurting herself if she’s on her own. If she is able to get out of bed at night, she could end up doing herself serious injury.

Sadie, who cannot speak or communicate, used to live in Northumberland with her family. When they lived there, the local council provided the little girl with a specialised bed that had padded sides.

The family has now moved to Edinburgh and although the council has promised to provide a customised chair and bath for Sadie, they will not stretch to a bed. Sadie’s mum, Effie, says she has had to resort to putting the ten year-old to bed on an inflatable mattress surrounded by a dog cage in order to keep Sadie safe from harm.

Effie told a local paper: “Sadie doesn’t sleep well and can be awake a lot during the night. She needs a bed where she can’t get out. The dog pen was basically a metal cage with mesh panels which you link together. It was horrible to see my daughter in a dog cage but we didn’t have any choice.

“Social services said they didn’t think it was safe. But what was the alternative? Special beds are essential for someone with needs like Sadie. It’s so difficult caring for her and doing that without sleep makes it so much harder.”

Sadie's mum said: "It was horrible to see my daughter in a dog cage but we didn’t have any choice"

Sadie’s mum said: “It was horrible to see my daughter in a dog cage but we didn’t have any choice”

A spokesman for Edinburgh council said: “Sadie didn’t meet our criteria for a cot bed. However, we’ve supported the family by helping her mother apply for charity funding in a bid to get one.”

Children’s disability charity Newlife have loaned the family a special bed temporarily and are helping the family with fundraising, but Operations Manager Stephen Morgan said access to specialised equipment was a “postcode lottery” in Britain: “It shouldn’t matter where a child lives – we should be making provision for equipment like this on a national basis.”

Visit Sadie’s JustGiving page here