Our thanks to Francis for this. From the article:
A mother who left her seven-year-old daughter alone in their home so she could visit a lover 100 miles away has avoided a prison term because she has since had another child.
The 31-year-old left the youngster locked up in Leicester while she travelled to London to have sex with a boyfriend…
Judge Michael Stokes said: ‘You left this child alone so you could fulfil your own self-gratification, both sexually and otherwise, and you put that before your duty to your daughter – and that’s really unforgivable in a mother.
‘To leave a seven-year-old child locked in a flat with no means of access or exit… anything could have happened – a fire, an electrical fault or the child falling. There’s a dozen things that could have happened to the child and that must have passed through your mind when you went to London.’
The woman admitted four counts of child cruelty by neglect, but the judge decided to suspend her ten-month jail sentence for 18 months. [My emphasis.] He said: ‘Given the enormous amount of work and investment social services have made, it would be counter-productive to send you to prison.’
He added: ‘You now have a tiny child who you are breastfeeding and the last thing the court would want to do is send you to prison in those circumstances.’