Mum who left children 'home alone' receives suspended jail sentence

A Tenby mum who admitted leaving her young children home alone while she went shopping and to a party has been sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty earlier this month to leaving her children for five hours while she went to a party in the summer and on the following day, when she went to buy cigarettes.

She also admitted leaving them on two occasions earlier that month; once when she had gone to the supermarket and once to give a friend a lift. The court heard that officers had visited the woman’s Tenby home after receiving an incomplete 999 call from her address.

They found one child partially clothed crying in an upstairs bedroom, stair gates open and bedroom floors covered in clothing and drinks bottles.

The woman returned saying she had gone out to the shop. When questioned by police, the woman admitted leaving her children on a total of four occasions.

The court heard she had been cautioned in 2006/2007 for one similar incident. Simon Mumford, defending, said that his client had had many problems, especially in the recent past.

“She felt isolated, lonely and unable to ask for support,” he added.

He said that she fully accepted responsibility, had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had been fully co-operative with both the police and the probation service.

He added that she was now on anti-depressants and receiving counselling.

He said her children, who she had a strong emotional bond with, were no longer in her care but she had supervised contact with them. “This is a very tragic case,” he said.

“It’s one of the unhappiest I have ever come across, especially when it’s a young woman who has so many good qualities.”

Magistrates handed down a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

They also gave the woman a 12-month supervision order, 200 hours of unpaid work and a requirement that she attended a future skills course.

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