A court heard yesterday how a little girl of six was left home alone for almost five days with only MONSTER MUNCH packets to eat.
The distressed, cold and hungry child eventually sought refuge at a next door neighbour's in Dartford, Kent, and told them her mummy had gone.
The little girl had been left with only crisps and water in the unheated and barely furnished house, which had 'cat faeces in every room' and a 'dirty kitchen' which had hardly any food in it.
On her arrest, the child's mum, Natalie Terry, 28, said: "I neglected my daughter. End of."
She was jailed for 18 months at Maidstone Crown Court after pleading guilty to child neglect.
Judge Martin Joysitting said the girl was "living in utterly unsanitary conditions. She was in fear and distress."
The youngster, who is now eight, has been put in the care of her grandmother. Her mother told the the court she had financial worries and was sorry for neglecting the child.
Investigating officer from Kent Police, DC Fleur Hardie, said: "Children deserve to grow up in a loving environment where they are protected from harm, not subjected to it. I am pleased with this sentence, which shows that we will do everything in our power to bring such offenders to justice and work with Social Services to protect children."
Appalling! How scared must that little girl have been?