North East Wales

Police find boy, 5, wandering Flintshire street at night

A five-year-old boy found wandering alone in a street at night told police he was "looking for someone to play with", a court heard.

His mother, a 35-year-old woman from Flintshire, was asleep at home after drinking, Flintshire magistrates were told.

Police who took the boy home said his mother was in a dishevelled state and slurring her words.

She admitted child neglect and sentencing was adjourned.

Flintshire magistrates, sitting in Mold, were told the boy was spotted by a member of the public alone on the street at 9.20pm on 20 May.

He was inappropriately dressed for the weather, the court heard, and police were alerted.

Prosecutor Matthew Ellis said that officers attended and saw the boy standing between two parked cars without a jacket on.

It was going dark and getting cold at the time.

He was asked who was looking after him and replied: "Nobody, my mum is asleep upstairs."

The boy was taken home by officers before letting himself in and going to wake his mother.

Clearly intoxicated

The single mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, did not wake up so officers went upstairs but found her in a dishevelled state, said Mr Ellis.

He said she was unsteady on her feet and slurring her words, clearly intoxicated and not in a fit state to look after a young child.

The boy was asked what he had been doing outside and replied he had been "looking for someone to play with".

The court heard that his mother was uncooperative with the officers and scared the boy by threatening that police would take him away.

The boy's father was called and arrived to take care of him because of the mother's state.

The boy's brother, aged 11, then returned home and the court heard that he did not seem surprised by his mother's condition.

He started to make food for his brother, who said he had not eaten since the morning.

Drinking all afternoon

The defendant claimed she had been having difficulties with neighbours and local youths but could not give more details.

She said she had cooked a dinner but drank a large bottle of wine and had been drinking all afternoon. She put herself as "nine" on a scale of one to ten for drunkenness.

She said during interview that she had done housework and prepared a school uniform.

Her youngest son had received food, had a bath and had been put to bed at 8.30pm, she said.

She said that she had then slept and the next thing she remembered was speaking to the police who had found him in the street and brought him back home.

The door had not been locked.

The woman, who had a previous conviction for excess alcohol, was bailed pending sentence.

Her solicitor Gwyn Jones said social services were involved with the family and provided support.

The defendant had taken appropriate steps to deal with the issue of alcohol "which seems to be the root cause of her difficulties", the court heard.

District Judge Andrew Shaw warned that all sentencing options would remain open.