Letter: First priority for all parents should be to look after their children

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Sir: As a working mother of four children, I was appalled at the sympathetic approach offered to the mother who left her two-year-old at home, from the Daycare Trust ('Mother to appeal over prison term', 4 August). She could have opted to stay at home with her child rather than leave an infant of tender years to cope alone all day. This woman showed little compassion or understanding for her daughter - why should the courts or charities show understanding to the woman accused of such wilful neglect?

Isn't it about time that people got their priorities in focus? The first priority for any parent is surely their child. We (myself and my husband) have coped for more than 15 months being unemployed and living on meagre state benefits, with no savings to cushion us. I would rather eat bread and drink water than leave my children to fend for themselves.

Let's get our priorities right and stop making excuses or using an event such as this to justify other social/political issues.

Yours faithfully,

COLETTE CREWDSON

London, N12

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