Mother wilfully neglected her child

Sunday 8th May 2022 3:57 pm

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A 45-year-old mother has pleaded guilty to a charge of wilfully neglecting her child.

Her youngster was found at their home, smelling, with decaying teeth and with head lice.

The mother will be sentenced on June 16 after a probation report has been completed.

We have not named the offender to protect the identity of the child.

Prosecuting advocate Hazel Carroon told the court that police went to the woman’s home on August 10 last year on an unrelated matter.

During a search of the premises police found living conditions which they described as so poor that they were likely to cause significant harm to the child who was living there.

The youngster was put under a Police Protection Order and taken to police headquarters so that alternative care could be arranged.

After being examined by a doctor the child was said to be smelling of a strong odour, and found to have extensive dental cavities and head lice.

The court heard that there had been a long-standing history of neglect.

The mother was interviewed at police headquarters and told police that she had had guests at the house before, and none had said anything about the state of the house.

When asked about it she said: ‘I can’t see it myself.’

She told police that she suffered from asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and said: ‘It’s obvious you can see I’m struggling.’

The child had been found asleep in her mother’s bed and when asked why, the woman said: ‘Well, you’ve seen the state of hers.’

She admitted that she should have asked for help but said she had not done so.

She said that people had offered her help but she had declined their offers.

Ms Carroon said that the case was suitable to remain in summary court for sentencing.

Defence advocate David Reynolds represented the woman and agreed that it should remain in the lower court.

Mr Reynolds said that the woman was now receiving support and was seeing Motiv8.

The advocate asked for a probation report to be prepared before sentencing, with input from social services and Motiv8.

He also said that medical evidence regarding his client’s COPD would be obtained before the sentencing.

Magistrates accepted summary court jurisdiction and granted bail in the sum of £500 with conditions that the woman live at her home address and to co-operate with probation services for the preparation of the report.