A TODDLER found wandering around in the street alone at night told police officers he was “looking for someone to play with”.
The boy, aged five, said his mother was asleep at home.
He took officers to the house, let himself in, went upstairs but could not wake her.
Officers went to the bedroom and found that she was drunk.
The woman, a 35-year-old single mum from the Holywell area, yesterday admitted child neglect.
District Judge Andrew Shaw, sitting at Flintshire Magistrates Court at Mold, adjourned sentence and warned that all sentencing options would remain open.
The court heard how it was about 9.20pm on May 20 that North Wales Police received a call from a member of the public who had come across the boy who was alone and inappropriately dressed for the weather.
Prosecutor Matthew Ellis said officers attended and saw the boy standing between two parked cars without a jacket on.
It was going dark and getting cold at the time.
He was asked who was looking after him, and he replied: “Nobody, my mum is asleep upstairs.”
Officers went with him to his home address, the house was in darkness, he let himself in and went upstairs to try and wake his mother, but he could not do so.
Mr Ellis said police officers went upstairs, announced who they were, and found her in a dishevelled state.
She was unsteady on her feet and slurring her words, clearly intoxicated and not in a fit state to look after a young child, he said.
When the boy was asked what he had been doing outside, he said he had been “looking for someone to play with”.
The mum was not co-operative with the police, did not like them speaking to her son and said to the tot: “What have I taught you?”
She threatened that the police would take him away, that scared the boy, who had to be re-assured by the officers.
The boy’s father was contacted and he attended to take care of him because of the mother’s state.
At that stage the boy’s brother returned home, did not seem surprised at the condition his mother was in, and he started to make food for the tot, who said he had not eaten since the morning.
The mother and the older boy then argued over the food the boy was preparing, but he heated food for him and took him upstairs away from the situation, taking on the primary caring role, explained Mr Ellis.
The defendant claimed she had been having difficulties with neighbours and local youths but could not elaborate.
She said the boy had been out with his father until 5.30pm, said that she cooked a dinner but drank a large bottle of wine. She said she had been drinking all afternoon and put herself as “nine” on a one to 10 drunkenness scale.
Interviewed, she said she had done housework and prepared a school uniform, said the youngest son had received food and had been bathed, and she had put him to bed at 8.30pm.
She said she then slept and the next thing she remembered was speaking to the police who had found him in the street and brought him back home.
The door had not been locked, she said.
The woman, who had a previous conviction for alcohol-related offence, was bailed pending sentence.
Her solicitor, Gwyn Jones, said social services were involved with the family since the outset and provided support.
The defendant had taken appropriate steps to deal with the issue of alcohol “which seems to be the root cause of her difficulties.”
The judge made an order under The Children and Young Persons’ Act that the child should not be publicly identified.