Four-year-old Mold girl left home alone


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A LITTLE girl aged just four-years-old was left home alone while her mother went out to work.

Police went to her home in Mold after an anonymous tip off to social workers.

They found the house in an unkempt condition and the girl was home alone with the front door unlocked.

The mother, who was self employed, had gone out in the car to visit customers.

The enormity of what she had done had not dawned on her until later, a court heard yesterday.

She had since given up work, her husband had changed his working pattern so he could assist more with the children and such a situation would not arise again, her solicitor Bethan Jones explained.

At Flintshire Magistrates Court the mother, a woman in her 40s with no previous convictions, admitted neglecting the child in a way likely to cause her unnecessary suffering.

She was placed on a 12-month community order with supervision and she was sent on a “positive thinking” workbook programme run by the probation service.

The woman, who was ordered to pay £85 costs, was told by District Judge Gwyn Jones that due to her then working pattern, she “became oblivious to the risks” posed to her youngest child by being left at home alone.

She had failed to place the interests of her child first.

But he was now assured she understood the welfare of the children was paramount and she had given up work to put the interests of the children first.

At the time she had failed to appreciate the potential for significant harm.

But she had received “a wake up call”, had admitted what she had done and there had been a change in the family dynamics which hopefully would ensure there would be no repetition.

Mr Jones made an order under The Children and Young Persons' Act that the identity of the child should not be made public.

Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, said the defendant worked and left the girl home alone while she went out to see customers.

On May 2 at 11am an anonymous call was made to Flintshire Council children's services that the girl was left at home alone and police were informed. Officers went to the house and found the house unlocked and the girl was alone.

She said her mummy had gone out working.

The child was made the subject of a protection order, social workers contacted the mother and she attended their offices on Deeside about an hour later.

Interviewed, she said she had left the child alone unsupervised that day.

Once it had been for 20 minutes while she did the school run and the child was asleep in bed.

She said on the second occasion the child had been alone for about 40 minutes, watching television, by the time she received the call from social workers.

She had gone out to work and had also called at garages to enquire about the prices of MOT tests. But as she made her way to the council offices she had been in a panic and ran into the back of another vehicle.

The defendant said she had left the child alone on a couple of occasions previously but it was not something she did on a regular basis.

Mr Ellis told the court: “She seemed oblivious to the risks and dangers of leaving her alone.”

The defendant had told police how she did everything for her children and would not leave them alone if she thought there was any danger. When the risks were pointed out to her, she admitted it was wrong and she would not do it again.

Bethan Jones said her client had some deep rooted issues that needed to be addressed.

At the time she had been trying to cope alone and had been under extreme pressure.

She had been suffering from anxiety and depression.

Her GP was involved and she was receiving counselling.

At the time she had not realised how serious it was to leave the child alone. But since the incident she had given up work.

They were not a family who were struggling financially. Although they were not well off, they were comfortable, she explained.

The husband had changed his working pattern so he could help more with the children.

Social services were also monitoring the situation, which the defendant welcomed.

She was traumatised at the thought of her daughter being taken to the police station and that would stay with her for a very long time, said Miss Jones.

See full story in the Leader

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