Highlands & Islands

Dead Inverness boy's mother Amanda Hardie jailed for 10 months

Amanda Hardie
Image caption Amanda Hardie admitted to wilfully ill-treating two-year-old Clyde

A woman whose son was found dead at an Inverness flat and later admitted to neglecting the boy over a five-month period has been jailed for 10 months.

Clyde Campbell, two, died in his bed on 23 February 2014. Inverness Sheriff Court heard the cause was cot death.

Amanda Hardie, 30, of East Kilbride, pleaded guilty to neglecting him and exposing him to unnecessary suffering.

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood said she had "placed her own desires, work and socialising ahead" of her child's.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard in March that medical enquiries established "no clinical basis" to link the neglect to Clyde's death.

Hardie pleaded guilty to wilfully ill-treating, abandoning, neglecting and exposing the child to unnecessary suffering or injury in her flat in Inverness between 1 October 2013 and 23 February 2014.

The charge went on to say she left him for prolonged periods and in particular during the hours of darkness whilst unattended and without adult supervision.

'Harrowing case'

Sentencing Hardie in Inverness, Sheriff Fleetwood said: "You are not being punished for Clyde's death. I fully accept his death is not at your door.

"That a child should die is a magnification of the possible risks of leaving a child unattended. She has to take responsibility for that. This can only be dealt with by a custodial sentence."

Police Scotland has acknowledged the sentence.

Det Ch Insp Iain Smith said: "This harrowing case understandably shocked and saddened communities across the city of Inverness and wider Highlands.

"Amanda Hardie had a duty of care towards her children which she chose to ignore, not only on the night of Clyde's tragic death but on several other occasions."

He added: "Officers and partners who dealt with the incident and carried out the subsequent investigation are to be commended for their efforts in bringing this sad case to a conclusion.

"Residents of MacIntosh Road and the community of Raigmore are to be thanked for their assistance and strength shown throughout the investigation."

'No babysitter'

In March, Inverness Sheriff Court was told that Hardie often left Clyde in the flat when she went out to work at an Inverness nightclub until the early hours, or was seeing her boyfriend.

Fiscal Roderick Urquhart gave details of days leading up to Clyde's death, including the weekend of 15 and 16 February.

He said: "A neighbour states that over that weekend, while the accused was out at work, she passed the accused's flat in the evening and heard Clyde Campbell crying and repeatedly asking for his mum. She knocked on the door, but no-one answered and the crying stopped.

"On 19 February, Hardie found Clyde in the kitchen with a bottle of cleaning fluid, some of which had been spilt on his clothing. She took him to the Accident and Emergency Department of Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, to be checked. There was no indication he had swallowed the cleaning fluid and he was discharged."

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the boy was left for prolonged periods after dark

Mr Urquhart also told of occasions when Hardie made no arrangements for childcare.

The fiscal said there had been concern about Clyde later in the day of 23 February and neighbours went round to the flat.

He said: "One of them saw that Clyde was lying lifeless in his bed and he contacted the emergency services. He struggled to perform CPR until ambulance staff arrived a short time later and they formally confirmed the child was dead at 15:11.

"Realising that something had happened, another neighbour contacted Hardie via Facebook and told her she had to return home as something was wrong."

Hardie was at her boyfriend's home at the time.

She eventually picked up the message and later told police there was no babysitter looking after Clyde.

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