Girl's mother too drunk to stand
A Frome mother who was found in a drunken stupor in Glastonbury town centre while looking after her four-year-old daughter has been given a conditional discharge by magistrates.
The 41-year-old self-confessed alcoholic was seen by alarmed passers-by drinking from a wine bottle while sitting on a bench and swaying from side to side until she fell onto the floor.
For legal reasons, we are unable to name either the mother or her child.
She was unable to get herself up from the ground after trying several times and when a police community support officer arrived at the scene he found the defendant, who cannot be named to protect the child, in a confused state with her speech unintelligible.
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The defendant, who lives at an address in Frome, pleaded guilty to being drunk in charge of a child under the age of seven years on October 23 when she appeared before South Somerset and Mendip Magistrates.
Simon Cooper, prosecuting, said people walking along the High Street in Glastonbury saw a woman sitting on a bench with a very young girl and she was drinking from a wine bottle.
"She was falling all over the place, falling from side to side and then fell off the bench onto the floor and was unable to get herself off the ground several times without success," he said.
"The witnesses were very concerned about the child and one of them spoke to the defendant saying they thought the child should be being looked after by someone else.
"A PCSO was flagged down and the defendant smelt of alcohol, appeared confused and when she asked for her details her speech was almost unintelligible."
She then became unco-operative, swearing at the officers and after being warned was arrested and taken to Yeovil police station.
When she was interviewed she said she was a recovering alcoholic and when she drank it affected her behaviour quite badly.
Her husband had been granted permanent custody of their child but the daughter had been saying with her for a few days and she had been suffering from stress due to family problems.
As a result she went to the pub and had some alcohol.
Defending, John Killah said it was a sad case and it was the last thing his client would have wanted and Social Services had now become involved as a result of the incident.
He said: "She has a bright future ahead of her but only if she conquers her addiction to alcohol.
"She attends Alcoholics Anonymous and Turning Point.
"Her stress at the time was very real and she resorted to what she did.
"She now feels humiliated and deeply ashamed to be here and she will have to live with it for a very long time."
The magistrates imposed an 18 month conditional discharge on the defendant and ordered her to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.