News Courts

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Mum of toddler found with beer had multiple convictions

Majella O'Sullivan and Marisa Reidy

Published 12/06/2014 | 02:30

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A mother with 25 previous convictions has been jailed after her toddler son was found smelling of alcohol while clutching an open can of beer.

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The 25-year-old woman was jailed for eight months for child cruelty and a further five months for possessing a flick-knife that was concealed in her bra.

In June last year gardai found her two-year-old son sitting in a wet nappy, with a six-pack of beer between his legs and complaining of being hungry, after stopping a car at 11.45pm going the wrong way up a one-way street in a popular seaside town. Listowel District Court sitting heard the child was wearing only shorts and socks and was visibly sunburnt.

The mother admitted all charges and apologised for what happened in Ballybunion, Co Kerry, last year.

Gardai said the four adults in the car were all drunk, with the mother in the front passenger seat and the young boy in the back.

Supt Willie Leahy said there was a smell of urine from the toddler and it was clear his nappy had not been changed for some time.

When officers searched the mother they uncovered a flick-knife concealed in her bra.

Solicitor Pat Enright said that while his client was pleading guilty to all charges and admitted she was intoxicated, she disputed that the child was drinking beer and argued that one person in the car was sober.

He said that since being jailed on the other matters, the young mother has been free from drugs.

Mr Enright added that his client asked to express her apologies and regret for "getting involved in a situation she had no control over".

Judge James O'Connor sentenced the woman to eight months in prison for child cruelty under Section 246 of the Children's Act 2001 and five months for possession of a knife with intent to cause injury.

Her previous convictions included robbery, assaulting a garda, theft, possession of a knife and drugs offences.

The woman, who cannot be named but has an address in Limerick city, is currently serving a prison sentence for other charges.

The court heard she hoped to rebuild her relationship with her son, who is now in the care of his grandparents, when she is released from prison.

In March, she was jailed for five months for stealing a woman's handbag.

During her arrest, she assaulted two gardai.

Just days before that she received a suspended four-month sentence after she pleaded guilty to possession of a knife inside a courthouse.

On the same day she was also jailed for theft while a charge for possessing drugs and other theft offences were taken into account.

She is currently before the courts charged in connection with an alleged public order incident outside her home, resulting from which a female garda was hospitalised.

Irish Independent

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