A mum abandoned her 3 young children locked in a bedroom on her son’s birthday, so she could spend the night at a hotel with her partner, a court learned.
The children aged 3, 5 and 7 – were left in the room locked with a bucket, a roll of toilet paper and a plastic bag stuffed with snacks on the evening of September 15, 2017. They were also inadequate to leave the room, at the house in Blackburn, Lancashire, as the door handle had been removed, Preston Crown Court was informed.
Judge Philip Barry told the only source of light in the bedroom was a lamp with bared wires, plugged into a damaged socket, making a clear fire hazard.
When officers were informed of the circumstances and entered into the house, the 5-year-old little girl said to them: ‘Mummy has left us alone again’. Prosecutors told the alarm was raised by the children’s father, who is isolated from their mother after he became concerned she had left them alone.
The 32-year-old mum came back the next morning and was detained at about 8 am. She declared guilty to 3 offenses of child neglect on November 14 and was granted an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years. Prosecutors told police discovered text messages on her phone that made it obvious she had booked a room at a Holiday Inn Express, in Burnley, with a man she indicated to as babe.
She insisted that she had urged her sister to look after the children but left them at the house when the arrangements fell through. When officers came on the scene they could notice a light on in a back bedroom so they broke in through the front door.
Charles Brown, prosecuting, told that the police could not quickly open the bedroom door and the youngsters could be discovered crying inside. Their father, who was with the officers, urged them to stand clear of the door so police could break it down, the court learned. The children then spent the night with their father, but they are now cared for by the mother’s aunt and uncle, the court was described.
Kelly Cyples, defending, told her client had been concerned in an offensive relationship with the children’s father, which she had ceased. But because she had married him against her family’s wishes, she was effectively separated and had fought with bringing the children up, she insisted.
The mother must also finish 150 hours of community service and undertake 30 rehabilitation activity days.