Partying mums who left kids home alone sentenced for neglect

Neglect case, Gloucester: Bottles of spirit found at flat Image copyright Gloucestershire Police
Image caption Several bottles of wine and spirits were found at the flat where the children had been left home alone

Two mothers who left their two young children home alone so they could go partying have avoided jail terms.

The women, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were each given a six-month sentence suspended for two years at Gloucester Crown Court.

The children, aged six and seven, were left alone for 12 hours until police called at the flat.

Judge Euan Ambrose told the women: "You put your own selfish pleasure above the welfare of your children."

Frightened children

The judge said the offences were so serious that custodial sentences were justified, but added: "The only thing that spares you from jail is the need to spare your children any further suffering."

In addition to the suspended sentences, a 12-month curfew to run between 20:00 and 06:00 hours was placed on the two women.

When arriving at the house at 05:40 BST on Friday 26 April, police found the frightened girl and boy in squalid conditions.

Image copyright Gloucestershire Police
Image caption Little food was found in the flat where the children were found

The girl was crying and had no clothing on her bottom half, police said.

The bedrooms upstairs contained dirty mattresses with little bedding to keep the children warm.

When asked by police where their mothers were, the boy said his mum told him she had gone to the high street.

The girl said she had not eaten since breakfast the day before.

Despite the lack of food, police found several bottles of wine and spirits.

Image copyright Gloucestershire police
Image caption Police were called to a flat in Gloucester where one of the women lived

At an earlier hearing, both women each admitted a charge of wilfully assaulting, ill-treating, neglecting or exposing their children to unnecessary suffering or injury to health.

The girl is still in foster care with supervised contact with her mother and the boy has returned to his mother, having been placed in emergency foster care for four weeks.

DS Edward Stratton, from Gloucestershire Police said he thought the sentences were "immaterial".

"Now these children have got the help that they need and it's highlighted to them [the mothers] how seriously things are taken and hopefully they can learn by this and build on making their family safe," explained Mr Stratton.

Image copyright Gloucestershire police
Image caption Dirty mattresses with little bedding on them were found in the upstairs bedroom

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