Page last updated at 13:49 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 14:49 UK

Mother jailed for abandoning son

The toddler was found surrounded by rubbish  (Photo from PA/Lincolnshire Police)
The toddler was penned in a kitchen full of rubbish

A woman who left her two-year-old son alone for the weekend has been jailed for 18 months.

The boy was found crying, dressed in dirty underwear and standing in water from a leak at their flat in Lincoln.

Kelly Tollerton, 22, was found guilty of two counts of child cruelty and one of perverting the course of justice at Lincoln Crown Court in June.

"It defies belief that any mother can treat her child in that way," said Recorder William Harbage QC.

"In my opinion, you are not a fit mother.

"Your conduct arouses feelings of horror and revulsion among all right-thinking people, particularly parents, most of whom must make considerable sacrifices in their lives for their children."

The child was found by police after neighbours noticed water leaking from the flat into their apartment below.

You were too selfish and too lazy to look after him properly
William Harbage, recorder

The jury was told the toddler had been penned into the kitchen while Tollerton spent the weekend with her boyfriend. The boy was found "cold, hungry and distressed" after he turned on a tap and flooded the kitchen.

The jury heard he had looked through rubbish for food scraps.

The abandonment came after a six-month period of neglect, during which he was starved of emotional stimulation and kept in the "long-term filth" of the flat, Felicity Gerry, prosecuting, told the court.

Recorder Harbage said: "The evidence shows that you were more concerned with your own social life than catering for his needs or caring for him. You were too selfish and too lazy to look after him properly."

The child is being looked after by foster carers. His mother had been allowed to see him twice a week while she was on bail.

Social workers had been helping Tollerton but the support was stopped before the offences were committed - a decision the recorder described as "a great pity".

During the trial, Tollerton told the court: "I would never ignore him. I would talk to him. He was a happy, smiling, contented boy."

She had claimed during the trial her friend had looked after the youngster during the weekend in November 2006, but this was rejected by the jury.

Tollerton has a low IQ but the recorder said he was "satisfied" that she was not stupid and knew how to look after a child.


SEE ALSO
Review for neglected toddler case
06 Jun 08 |  Lincolnshire
Mother guilty of leaving toddler
05 Jun 08 |  Lincolnshire
Toddler 'sifted rubbish for food'
04 Jun 08 |  Lincolnshire

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