Mother of baby left strapped to a pushchair for 14 hours avoids jail after admitting neglect

Unnamed mother was handed a 12-month community order, with supervision and 100 hours of unpaid work

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The Independent Online

A mother who left her 10-month-old baby strapped to a pushchair for 14 hours because she felt “unwell” has avoided jail after admitting neglect.

The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Derby Crown Court that she had “not felt up to looking after the children” because she felt “unwell,” also admitting she was aware the baby had “soiled” himself.

Authorities were alerted by the baby boy’s father who noticed the child had 10cm-long dark red abrasions, caused by sitting in his own urine, across his legs when he changed his son’s nappy.

The following day the baby and his three-year-old sibling were removed by a local care worker.

In court, the mother was handed a 12-month community order, with supervision and 100 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to neglecting both children, as well as not feeding her elder child in that period.

Judge John Burgess, passing sentence, condemned the mother, telling the court: “you failed both of your children.”

He said: “Being a mother is a great responsibility. You are expected, both by the public and your children, to care for them and care for them properly, and you didn’t – you failed both your children.”

Judge Burgess did concede that the neglect was not deliberate and had been caused by the mother’s depression at the time, but added that there were millions of mothers who felt unwell but continued to care for their children “brilliantly”.

Prosecutor Sarah Allen said the mother understood that her child, “a crawling, active baby,” would not have been happy but “felt that there was nothing further that could have been done because she was suffering pain.”

The children went without food from 11pm until 1pm the following day, according to an interview with the mother.

The case comes shortly after a couple were arrested in Faversham, Kent, on suspicion of child neglect.

The pair were arrested after their child, thought to be around two, was found wandering alone in the streets.

The child was later taken into care and the parents, a 39-year man and 28-year-old woman, were bailed until 8 May.