A CRUEL mum who left her neglected twins home alone has been jailed for 16 weeks.
Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard how the 37-year-old allowed her teenage sons to become unkempt and riddled with head lice.
The woman, who the court also heard kept drug paraphernalia, including a cannabis grinder, in the home left the boys at home overnight after visiting her former partner.
The mother-of-three asked her older daughter to take care of the pair, who have learning difficulties, until 8.30pm – when she was expected to arrive home.
However, her daughter left, and the woman, who had drunk alcohol, didn’t return, saying she got lost during the night.
She used a stranger’s phone to call the police, telling them that the boys were by themselves, and was then taken home by ambulance. Louise Harrison, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was aware the children were alone all night.
“She then told the ambulance crew she was with social care so it didn’t matter what they said, the children would be taken off her.”
The children are now in foster care, and Ms Harrison told the court they had to have basic care needs – such as teeth cleaning – explained to them.
She said: “The foster carer said she had to buy them clothing and pyjamas as they were dirty and smelled of urine.
“Both had problems with bed wetting. Their nails were curled over their finger ends and dirty.
“When the social worker was made aware that the children had been taken into police care, she said she was relieved. Their school had expressed concern about the boys’ health.”
Magistrates heard it is not the first time the woman’s children had been in care.
Jason Smith, defending, said: “For all of her faults, she loves her boys.
“What we are talking about is her inability to take care of them properly. For her part, she deeply regrets everything.
Magistrate Dorothy Lightfoot said: “This child cruelty we have found so serious, because we have had concerns from the school, and from your own daughter, and there are previous cases.”