Mum jailed for leaving children to go drinking
A young mother wept as she was jailed for six months for child cruelty after what a judge described as the most harrowing case he had dealt with in a decade.
The 30-year-old woman was jailed for leaving her three children - aged from two to seven years - alone in her house and locked in their bedrooms while she went out drinking.
Garda concern for the three youngsters was first raised when the woman was stopped in another part of Cork on suspicion of drink-driving and taken to a Garda station.
When a garda had to break into the house where children were heard crying out in distress while unsupervised and locked in their bedrooms, such was "the total terror" of the eldest that she was convinced she and her siblings were going to be kidnapped.
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Judge Olann Kelleher noted at Cork District Court that the seven-year-old's terror that night was such that she is still able to role play the garda breaking into the property and climbing the stairs to go to their aid.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty before Judge Kelleher to three counts of child cruelty arising from an incident at a Cork house on August 5, 2018, involving children aged from two to seven years.
The three counts involved a charge that the woman wilfully neglected a named child in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering to their health or seriously affect their wellbeing.
Judge Kelleher noted that the woman had a previous conviction for child cruelty - having left her then two children alone and unsupervised to go drinking.