Portsmouth mum's '˜gross neglect' while on drug and drink bender sees four-year-old child leave his home at night
A MUM who abandoned her four-year-old boy with learning difficulties while she went on a drug-fuelled bender could have caused '˜catastrophic consequences' after the child cycled across a busy road at night.
The shocking negligence by the mum, who cannot be named for legal reasons, led to the little boy leaving his home in the middle of the night with no trousers on and faeces down his leg as he tried to find his parent, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
The ‘grossly irresponsible’ parent was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
The court heard that when the police turned up at the woman’s home with the boy - who was miraculously unhurt - she was ‘totally out of it’ after taking a concoction of cocaine and alcohol. The child is now in care.
‘After leaving his home the boy went across a number of busy roads by himself before he was rescued after people had reported seeing the child on his own.’ prosecutor Martyn Booth said.
‘Following the search, when the boy was found he had faeces on him and was not wearing anything from the waist down. When the police went to his house the mum was fast asleep.
‘After carrying out a search of the house they found cocaine, cannabis and prescription medication within reach of the child. There were also untidy electrical cables and a blade that were a danger to the child and were in amongst his toys.’
In defence, Edward Hollingsworth admitted the defendant ‘needed help’ but pointed out it was an isolated incident and not ‘long-term abandonment’. He also told the court the mum was ‘deeply upset’ by what had happened but conceded that looking after the child had been challenging.
‘His learning difficulties rendered him unable to talk and still wearing nappies despite being four at the time,’ the barrister said.
‘He’s removed his nappy and then gone out into the street. Soiling himself was something he would do anyway. But she accepts she did not look after him.’
The woman admitted child cruelty and two counts of possessing controlled drugs. She was given a £200 fine, told to complete 20 rehabilitation activity days and to attend a drug rehabilitation course for six months.
Judge Timothy Mousley QC told the defendant: ‘Your neglect showed a complete lack of care and you were grossly irresponsible. The result could have been catastrophic especially as he cycled across a busy road. That is something you will have to live with.’