14/08/2014 16:47 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Boy Of Five Found Wandering The Streets At Night As Drunk Mum Slept

Boy of five wandered streets at night while drunk mum was in bed

A 35-year-old mum has been given a suspended prison sentence after her five-year-old son was found wandering the streets while she was drunk in bed.

Flintshire Magistrates' Court was told that the police found the little boy 'looking for someone to play with' at 9.20 in the evening after receiving a tip off from a member of the public.

When police officers returned the child home, they found his mum 'unsteady on her feet and slurring her words, clearly intoxicated and not in a fit state to look after a young child' WalesOnline reports.

The little boy's father was subsequently contacted to care for the child.

District Judge Andrew Shaw said he accepted the child's mum was unaware he had left the house, but said that if she had been, then he would have considered an immediate prison sentence.

"You didn't know he was out because, to a large extent, you voluntarily got yourself so drunk that you didn't know where he was," the judge told the woman, who has not been named to protect the identity of her children.

The judge told her that she seemed to struggle to understand that she needed to nurture, support, look after protect her children.

"They are not independent beings. It was your sole responsibility, your moral responsibility and your legal responsibility," he said.

"You failed with that responsibility on this occasion because you got yourself in such a state that the child was allowed to wander into the street at risk of whatever knows what. You might speculate as to what might have happened to him."

Her lawyer said she accepted that drinking at home was not appropriate.

"She accepts that she has put her own interests ahead of that of the children, but that they must be her main priority now," Gwyn Jones told the court, adding that his client was getting help from the community alcohol services and a home detoxification programme was planned.

Social services were aware of her children and would be keeping them on the 'at risk' register until all the local authority's concerns had been addressed.

The woman admitted neglect and was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, with 12 months supervision, and £85 costs.

Talking About Alcohol with Children