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Neglectful mother, 30, abandoned her three young children and 12-month-old baby for FIVE days to go on trip to seaside
Children discovered in filthy conditions and baby had a full nappyCupboards were empty apart from butter, milk and beerChildren found sharing ice cream out of a mug
Mother from London claimed to have been 'checking hotel prices'She is given suspended sentence at Snaresbrook Crown Court
17:51 GMT, 12 December 2012
A neglectful mother abandoned her young children for five days to go on a trip to Bournemouth seaside, a court heard.
The four siblings, aged between one and 10, were left in filthy conditions and forced to fend for themselves while their 30-year-old single mother went to 'check on hotel prices'.
The woman was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
A beach in Bournemouth where the mother claimed she had gone to 'check out hotel prices'
The one-year-old baby had a full nappy
and all four children were dressed in shabby clothing when police were
called to the family home in London, on July 20 this
Their mother, who did not return
until July 24, left them all in the care of their 15-year-old cousin,
with little but beer, butter and milk in the house, heard.
'A young boy opened the door to police and told them he was alone with his siblings,' said prosecutor Richard Berman.
'The children were dressed in shabby, dirty clothing and were sharing ice cream out of a mug.
'The youngest child was wearing a dirty vest and had a full nappy.
'The cupboards were empty apart from beer, butter and milk for the baby.'
Police contacted the mother who insisted she would be back, but she failed to do so while officers were at the house, resulting in the children being taken into police protection, Mr Berman added.
The 30-year-old, who has previously received a caution for child neglect, handed herself in to police.
'Her excuse was that she went there (to Bournemouth) to check on hotel prices,' Mr Berman added.
She has since been reunited with her children, although their grandmother is now their primary carer.
Sentencing, Judge Nigel Peters QC said: 'In July this year you took off to Bournemouth and did not return until Tuesday.
Judge: 'Your reasons and excuses for doing so seem lamentable.'
'Your reasons and excuses for doing so seem lamentable.
'How you can conceivably leave a 12-month old baby and a five-year-old with your nephew, together with a ten and eight-year-old, how that household coped until the police arrived, beggars belief.
'The position now is the children have been reunited with you and your mother is the main carer, by virtue of an agreement with the local authority.
'Nevertheless, you have access to them. It would be punishing them further if I was to deprive you of your liberty.
'This was a very grave case of neglect and one that merits a custodial sentence, that I am prepared to suspend.'
Judge Peters also ordered that the woman should be supervised for 18 months and complete 20 sessions of specified activity programme.
Emma Judt, defending, said the mother suffered from depression and struggled to cope with the pressures of parenthood.
'She is more than aware of the, to put it mildly, unsatisfactory nature of the care.
'She did make arrangements, she didn't leave on a whim.
'She collected her nephew and brought him home.
'Her sister and brother-in-law also reside at the address and she expected them to be there throughout the weekend.
'She expected at least one adult to be in the property to supervise the children.
'Social services are happy for her to reside at the address although she is not their main carer.'
The mother admitted four counts of child neglect.