A WOMAN who was found slumped in her kitchen by police after taking a cocktail of booze and sleeping pills while looking after her two-year-old son has been locked up.
Officers had been called to the woman’s home in South Shields by the toddler’s father, who became concerned that she was drunk after he was refused access to visit the boy.
When police arrived they found the mum-of-two, who cannot be named for legal reasons, asleep on a bean bag while the child’s cries were heard coming from the living room.
When officers got into the property, they found empty bottles of vodka and lager as well asan empty bottle of wine stashed in the tumble dryer, while her unattended son was found in another room.
The court heard that both her sons are now in local authority care.
The woman admitted child neglect at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court – it is her third conviction for similar offences in the space of 18 months.
In August 2013, she was handed a four-month jail term – suspended for 18 months – at Wirral Magistrates’ Court for being drunk in charge of a child.
In August last year the suspended sentence was extended by six months when she admitted the same offence at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court after being spotted drinking from a bottle of vodka and being barely able to stand while pushing her son in a buggy.
Jonathan Moore, prosecuting, said: “Police were called to her home on August 31. When she was arrested she admitted being drunk, and said she had drank half a bottle of vodka as well as a can of lager, and two sleeping tablets while in sole care of her son.”
Valerie Bell, defending, said: “She realises the seriousness of the situation she finds herself in today.
District Judge Helen Cousins gave the woman a total of 16 weeks in jail for breaching the suspended sentence and the latest offence.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Unfortunately this case will not be unique. Neglect is the most common form of child abuse and we know that almost one in 10 children in the UK are neglected by their parents or carers. Sadly drink and drugs play a role in many cases of child abuse and neglect and we urge any parent who feels as if they are struggling to cope to seek help as early as possible.
“Anyone who has a concern about a child’s welfare can contact the NSPCC’s free 24 hour Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”