Powys mother jailed for leaving baby daughter home alone


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The Independent Online

A mother has been jailed after leaving her baby daughter at home alone while she went out drinking every day for a week over Christmas.

The woman, 20, of Powys, mid Wales, appeared before Merthyr Crown Court today to admit neglect of her 15-month-old child.

The alarm was raised by neighbours after they heard the child repeatedly crying.

Judge John Curran said while the defendant had gone back to the house to occasionally check up on her daughter, she had still "neglected her for a very long time".

"Your daughter was left in the dark and cold, she was hungry and thirsty and had not been changed for days," he added.

A court heard how the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, put her baby girl in a cot before going out drinking with friends.

She returned home every day to give the child breakfast and a microwave meal, before heading back to a friend's flat to continue partying.

Police officers were alerted to the child by neighbours and found the house to be cold and dark, and with all its rooms in a mess.

When they arrived, the little girl had been on her own for more than 24 hours, there had been no heating on and the child was partly covered by a blanket.

Prosecutor Michael Hammett said the officers took the girl to the nearby police station to be cleaned up and fed.

"When they gave her food and drink she grabbed them as if she had been starved," he added.

A doctor then examined the child, and discovered she had severe nappy rash.

As she was jailed by Judge John Curran for 15 months, the single mother broke down in tears.

Her defending barrister Geraint Jones said his client deeply regretted her actions and hoped to rebuild her relationship with her daughter after leaving prison.