Child neglect mum saved from prison by kids

A MOTHER-of-six, who broke the law in Hucknall and Bulwell despite a suspended sentence hanging over her for child neglect, has been granted a last chance to avoid prison.

The 29-year-old has been given a home curfew for six months from 7 pm to 7 am, instead of an immediate prison-term.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, still has four of her children living with her, Nottingham Crown Court heard. The youngest are aged just one and four.

A year ago, she was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, for five offences of child cruelty.

She had returned home at 3.30 one morning after leaving her 21 month-old child in the house with her six-year-old and 11 year-old.

Later, during an argument, the mother threw a bag at the 11-year-old, injuring the child. Another child was found to have an accidental iron-mark on it, said Edina Leonard (prosecuting).

On Saturday January 8, police were called to a disturbance at 12.40 am on Hucknall High Street. The mother was seen on CCTV footage and when taken into custody, she was found to have a small amount of amphetamine on her. She pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs.

Two months later, on Saturday March 12, just after midnight, a Ford Focus car being driven from Highbury Road, Bulwell was stopped by the police in a cul-de-sac. The mum, a disqualified driver, was found hiding behind a fence. The judge banned her for a further 12 months.

Her barrister, Andrew Wesley, said that she had borrowed a friend’s car to visit her brother who had been taken to hospital.

The court was told the probation service found that her supervision order was proving unworkable and the woman was using her children as a shield to hide behind.

But Mr Wesley told the judge: “She has achieved impressive things in keeping the family together. If she got an immediate prison-sentence, her children would be in foster care and it is unlikely they would stay together.”

The judge told her: “What saves you, though it will not be forever, is your children. No court wishes to disrupt families if it can be avoided. But your excuses have now run out.”