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Toddler subjected to two years of abuse from young mum

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 16, 2013

Gloucester Crown Court

A NEGLIGENT young mum shouted abuse at her four-year-old daughter after the youngster was ill.

The 23-year-old from Cheltenham, who cannot be named for legal reasons, put her eldest daughter through two years of misery, while pouring affection on her younger sister, Gloucester Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Peter Coombe said the girl was not allowed to sit on the sofa and only on the floor, while the mother refused to change her wet nappies.

She also shouted abuse at her when she did not eat her food quickly enough. The mother pleaded guilty to child neglect.

Mr Coombe said: "There was a total lack of affection towards the oldest child in contrast with the close attention she paid to the youngest. She would lose her temper with her and become verbally abusive and used to cover her mouth to stop her speaking. She told two people she did not want her and wanted her put into care." Mr Coombe said one neighbour witnessed the mum losing her temper with her daughter.

He said: "She was abusive and swearing at her daughter and calling her a bitch after she had been sick in her bedroom.

"There was also a minibus trip with her nursery, when the girl was uncomfortable in her seat belt, and despite asking for help, her mother ignored her."

When the mum was first questioned by police over the allegations, she said neighbours, friends and a former partner had made up the claims against her. Both children are no longer with the woman. The four-year-old, who is living with foster parents and is said to be happier, could be adopted.

In mitigation, Joe Maloney told the court the mum was just 18 when she had her eldest daughter and the girls had different fathers.

He said: "She was just eight-years-old when she was adopted herself and her father was abusive towards her.

"She comes from a very troubled background.

"She is has struggled as a young mum in very difficult circumstances and is now in a much better place."

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said: "Parenthood is notoriously one of the most difficult things we have to deal with and it is seldom that you look back without regrets. But you went beyond bad parenting and she suffered. You need help to become a better parent."

He sentenced her to a 12-month community order with a mental health supervision requirement.

OPINION, P8

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