A PREGNANT mother whose two-year-old child took drugs while he was in her Worcestershire flat has evaded a jail sentence.
The 24-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, previously admitted child neglect after her son took amphetamines while he was in her care on Friday, March 7.
The case was adjourned on Friday, July 25, while a probation report was prepared and the woman, who is five months’ pregnant, returned to Worcester Magistrates Court for a sentencing hearing on Friday, August 1.
The defendant, who was described as “a regular drugs user”, had also admitted possessing 1.73 grams of mephedrone.
The woman from Evesham wept in the dock as prosecutor Lesley Aston told the court how the she was not supposed to have unsupervised contact with her child, who usually lives with his father and grandparents, but that he had been at her flat during the evening when he got hold of some amphetamine and ate it.
Miss Ashton said the next morning the woman and her partner noticed the boy was “acting strangely”.
“He appeared to be sweating and trying to cool himself down by drinking water,” she said.
The couple called an ambulance and her was taken to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, where doctors diagnosed him as having ingested drugs.
Miss Aston said when police visited the flat they found it in a “very poor state”, with cigarette papers, beer cans and small clear bags such as the kind used to carry drugs lying about and tobacco pouches left on a table attached to a high chair.
Mark Lister, mitigating, said his client, who struggled with depression following the birth of her son and was recently diagnosed with a personality disorder, was aware she could face prison for her offence.
“What is not being said by the crown is that she deliberately harmed (her son) in any way,” he said.
He said she had been undergoing treatment for her drug use and since her arrest on Tuesday, July 8, had provided a number of negative drug tests.
“This is a young lady who has struggled with money, drugs and life in general and made the wrong decision in terms of her son for a short time,” he said.
Mr Lister added the child had fully recovered and showed no long-term effects of having taken the drugs.
Chairman of the bench Keith Stokes-Smith described the case as “very serious”.
“You are more interested in taking drugs and enjoying your life than taking care of your child,” he said.
The woman sighed with relief as she was given a 17- week prison sentence, suspended for two years, as well as a 12-month community order.
“You are a mother and you are an adult – you need to start acting like one,” he said.
She was also given a 12-month conditional discharge for possession of mephedrone and ordered to pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.