A mother has admitted neglect by leaving a child alone in an unheated house on a winter’s day.
She was put on probation for a year while experts arranged added support for her, after a court was told of her problems.
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that the alarm was raised by a man walking along a city street at 7.30pm on February 3 last year. He saw a girl at an upstairs window “distraught and crying,” said Stephen Flint, prosecuting.
Other people tried to help and police arrived to find the back door was unlocked.
“It was very cold. There was no heating in the house. There was no proper food,” said Mr Flint.
The girl said she had eaten dried cornflakes with water from the tap.
Jo Tait, who represented the mother, said that she was suffering from mental health problems and spent four months in hospital after the incident.
“She is not a woman who would disregard her daughter. This was an episode of ill health,”
said Miss Tait.
Shortly after police arrived, the girl recovered and the officers said she became “happy and
chatty,” said Miss Tait. Mother and daughter have a good relationship, she added.
The court was shown film taken inside the house, and presiding magistrate Patricia Pennington said that the girl was left in “appalling conditions.”
She told the mother: “It was cruelty to a child.”The mother has not been named to protect the identity of the child.