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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Drunk Cumbrian dad sent to prison for 12 weeks for child neglect

A father has been jailed after police officers found him in an alcoholic stupor while he was supposed to be caring for his young daughter.

The man, who lives in an area south west of Carlisle, was found collapsed and fully clothed on his bed after drinking a huge quantity of cider.

His daughter, who is still at primary school, was the only other person in the house, which was cold, had no food, and was littered with drugs paraphernalia, Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard.

The child’s plight only came to light thanks to the vigilance of two police officers.

During a brief hearing this week, the father, who is in his 30s but cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted a charge of child neglect and possessing the class B drug cannabis. He was jailed for a total of 16 weeks.

Prosecutor John Moran described how at 9.45pm on February 20 the officers spotted the man clearly drunk with his young daughter in the street.

Feeling it was inappropriate to intervene at that stage, PC Paul Atkinson and PC James Thistlethwaite resolved to check on the man and his daughter later that evening, said Mr Moran.

Just after 10.30pm, they visited his house, and went inside to check on him and his daughter.

“He was asleep on his bed, fully clothed, and heavily under the influence of alcohol,” said Mr Moran.

It later emerged that he had consumed between three and four litres of cider and when, after some difficulty, he was eventually roused he became aggressive towards the two officers, the court heard.

After the man was arrested, his daughter was taken to a relative’s house to be cared for.

Magistrates imposed 12 weeks’ jail for the child neglect offence and a further four weeks consecutive for the cannabis possession.

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