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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Toddler fell from upstairs window while Carlisle mum slept after drinking

A toddler fell when it climbed out of an upstairs window while its mother slept after drinking wine, a court heard.

A neighbour in Carlisle spotted the youngster “dangling” out before hitting the top of a bay window below and plunging to the ground.

He ran out and saw the child, who suffered possible hairline fractures to its jaw and cheekbone and abrasions to its mouth and cheeks, trying get up off the path.

Repeated banging on the door failed to wake the mother and police had to smash their way in before shaking her and shouting: “Wake up! Wake up! Your baby has fallen out of the window.”

The fall happened in the afternoon on April 16 in a street off Warwick Road. Tests showed the mother had 136mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – nearly four times the drink drive limit.

Carlisle Magistrates Court heard the mother, who is in her thirties but cannot be named for legal reasons, had earlier drank two large glasses of wine in the house.

Before this she had taken a mouthful straight from a bottle she had taken into the toilet of her mother’s house, hiding it because she “felt ashamed”.

The mother of the child, appearing at court today, admitted ill treating or neglecting a child. Dressed smartly in a dark top, she wept during the hearing.

Diane Jackson, prosecuting, said the mother had endured relationship problems and had begun drinking excessively and suffering from anxiety.

The police that day had received a call from the ambulance service, saying they were treating a baby who had fallen out of a window and were unable to get a reply from the property.

The court heard that when police went into the mother’s bedroom they found an open window and the mother “sound asleep in bed”. There was a smell of alcohol.

When trying to wake her, police said the woman was “like a rag doll” and “very drunk”.

She was arrested and realisation began to hit her as she was brought down the stairs. She said: “Oh my God”.

Paramedics commented on how clean and tidy the house was but said they could smell alcohol coming from the mother.

The mother said she had fed the baby and they had gone upstairs. She had a nap and when she woke the police were there.

The court heard the child had been able to walk for some time and was fast on its feet. The window is left open to cool the room but the baby had never shown any interest in going near it before.

The mother had sought medical help but was told she was a habitual drinker, not an alcoholic.

On the night before the fall she had a friend round the house and had drunk three to four glasses of wine.

John Smith, defending, described it as “a very sad incident”.

“She says that when the police were there she was in shock,” he told the court. “When she got down the stairs she ran to the baby.

“Tragic is the best way to describe it. She accepts alcohol has played a part in this.”

The case was adjourned until May 24, when it will be heard again at Carlisle Magistrates Court. The mother was released on conditional bail.

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