A Powys mum must complete unpaid work and a court community order after admitting that she wilfully neglected her young son.

The child’s mother, who cannot be named, was found at her home address asleep and under the influence of both alcohol and medication when police attended on the evening of June 17, 2023, following a concerned call.

The child told police officers “I don’t want my mummy to be arrested” and said he had only eaten Weetabix that day, when officers gained access to the home at around 8.30pm.

The mother admitted one charge of wilfully neglecting her son, in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering, last month and was sentenced at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, April 10.  


Prosecutor James Sprunks told the court that the call to police had come from a friend of the mother, who revealed that the defendant was home alone with the child and had sounded drunk when leaving a “gargling and slurring” voicemail. A child could be heard in the background crying.

“The caller said they knew the defendant was an alcoholic,” said Mr Sprunks.

“Police attended and PC Chard rang both doorbells, then knocked, and opened the letter box. He could hear a child crying inside. He shouted (the defendant’s name).

“A neighbour arrived and said she’d seen the defendant earlier and described her as intoxicated.

“One officer gained access at the back of the property and saw PC Edwards speaking to the child. He said to the officer ‘I don’t want my mummy to be arrested’. The defendant was asleep in the front room.”

Mr Sprunks added: “The defendant was unsteady on her feet and slurring her words. She was mumbling incoherently.

“She was not willing to listen to officers and seemed more concerned over who called the police.

“She said the medication she was taking caused her to be in the state she was. A bottle of vodka was found in her handbag.”

He said the defendant had a previous conviction for ill treatment of a child dating back to 2005.

Andrew Cleal, representing the defendant, said: “Her son is her life. She is deeply remorseful about what happened.

County Times:

“My client has recognised in months passed that this was not acceptable behaviour in any way.

“She has struggled in the past with alcohol, but this is being addressed in a number of ways. She has a key worker with her from Kaleidoscope (drug and alcohol charity) in court.

“This happened a while ago and there doesn’t appear to be anything to indicate it might happen again.

“She is willing to do any rehabilitation work. She wants to work with probation to complete the order to the best of her ability and put this behind her.”

Magistrates told the mum to comply with a 12-month community order; this will include 15 rehabilitation activity days, as well as 40 hours of unpaid work.

She must also pay £85 costs and a £114 surcharge.