Mother in court for child neglect

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A SCARBOROUGH woman has escaped a jail sentence after appearing in court for neglecting her children.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before York Crown Court for sentencing having previously pleaded guilty to four charges of neglect leading to unnecessary cruelty.

The court heard the family home was in so bad a state that police officers who went to investigate had to keep dashing outside for air.

Rubbish was piled so high in certain areas that the “shocked” officers could not even get into some rooms in the house.

The four children who were rescued from the home were in such a condition that the police car they were taken away in to be eventually fostered had to be deep cleaned by outside contractors.

The court heard the children had been placed on the Child Protection Register by social services between July 2004 and March 2005, but were removed when it appeared their mother was making efforts to put things right.

However, matters became bad again and the youngsters were taken into care in January last year.

Prosecuting, Anthony Dunne said the children had not received medical or dental care for some time, leading to extensive treatment being needed.

He added that all children were suffering from lice infestation and it was believed the family bath had not been used for some time.

During the case an order was made by Recorder Rodney Jameson QC, stating the heavily pregnant mother could not be identified, nor could the youngsters, who had been the subject of taunting and bullying by other children because of their personal hygiene.

Ann Mundy, mitigating, said her client had had a bad early life herself, having been taken into foster care after she and her siblings suffered broken limbs at the hands of their own mother.

Mrs Mundy added there was never any violence shown towards the children, and that although there were no moves to have her client’s children returned to her, the mother was hopeful it would eventually happen.

She said her client and new partner, the father of her unborn baby, were trying hard to provide a good, clean home and were hopeful that the youngster would not be taken away at birth.

The court heard the defendant in part blamed her position on the fact the various fathers of the children involved had left her on her own with no support.

Passing sentence, the Recorder said that the conditions at the house had been “unspeakable”, but having heard the defendant was now co-operating with the authorities, he said that he was faced with a problem.

He said although the offences warranted a sentence of immediate prison, if things were changing he did not want to upset the work being done.

Recorder Jameson QC said that he hoped that the non-custodial sentence he was passing was justified, adding “I hope to God” the sentence is the right one.

The mother was sentenced to 51 weeks’ custody, suspended for two years. She was also placed under two years supervision and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work when medically fit after the birth of her baby.