Page last updated at 19:44 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:44 UK

Drugs baby death mother is jailed

A 30-year-old mother whose baby son died from a drug overdose has been jailed for five years for manslaughter.

Ex-prostitute Sabrina Ross would regularly collapse at her Bristol home, leaving 14-month old son Rio access to her Class A drugs.

On the night he died, Ross had gone out to buy drugs and returned to find him dead after drinking methadone.

The judge at Bristol Crown Court said she had created an "unsafe" environment for the baby.

Ambulance called

Ross had admitted buying 16 rocks of crack and two wraps of heroin with a male friend on the night her son died, before falling asleep unaware the child had a "free run" of the house.

Prosecutor Giles Nelson said: "During the night of July 20 and 21 last year the defendant was clearly more concerned about her consumption of illegal drugs than she was about the welfare of her child."

On discovering the body, Ross immediately called an ambulance to her home, in Wordsworth Road, but the child was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Bristol Children's Hospital.

Cause of death was given as morphine and methadone intoxication. Tests on Rio's hair showed he had been exposed to Class A drugs for months before his death.

After the case Claude Knights, of the charity Kidscape, said: "This case underlines the need for vigilance and a support network around the mother, including the social services and the extended family."

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