Outrage as home alone binge mum spared jail
A RECKLESS mum who left her four children home alone and with access to knives as she went on a 24-hour drink-and-drugs bender walked free from court today - to a storm of protest.
Rebecca Stevenson, 22, knocked back booze and snorted cocaine while her youngsters - aged three months to four years - fended for themselves in appalling conditions.
The Sun exclusively revealed their plight after Stevenson was arrested last summer - and today a judge said she had exposed them to "a potential time-bomb."
But Judge Norman Wright sparked fury by giving her a 20-week suspended prison sentence and putting her under curfew between the hours of 8pm and 6am.
Mark Wallace, from the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "This sentencing absolutely beggars belief.
"That someone like this should face prosecution on such a serious matter as child neglect yet walk free from court is crazy.
"This sort of behaviour is just not acceptable and the courts should be highlighting that in their sentence."
Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, West Yorks, said: "The neglecting of children are some of the most heartbreaking stories that I ever come across and I find them deeply upsetting.
"Children are completely innocent and dependent on their parents and for someone to do this and not be jailed is ridiculous.
"If a judge feels so strongly about her actions that he calls her behaviour 'dreadful' then surely that outrage should be echoed in his sentence?
"What sort of message does it send out to our society if something like this goes unpunished?"
Preston Crown Court heard how Stevenson put the children to bed, then drank a bottle of wine and invited friends to her home where they supped cider and took cocaine.
Stevenson decided to leave with her pals and stayed up drinking all night and the following day - only returning home at 10.30pm.
Luckily her children had already been discovered after a relative visited the family home and saw Stevenson's four-year-old daughter hanging out of a window sobbing: "Where's mummy ?"
The relative broke into the property in Blackburn, Lancs, and found her one-year-old brother "hysterical" and soaked in urine in his cot .
Stevenson's three-month-old baby was wearing a soiled nappy in a travel cot with no blanket - covered in dried milk and with sick all over his clothing.
The court heard how the four-year-old had tried to mix a feed for the tiny tot - said to be "grey, docile" with his forehead "sunken" - because he was crying with hunger.
Stevenson's fourth child, aged three, had managed to dress herself.
Prosecutor Steven Wild said: "The children had pulled chairs in from the dining room so they could climb up them to reach the higher cupboards.
"There were kitchen knives and sharp objects on the surface which were within reach of the children. The baby was said to be pale and grey."
The house was later found littered with empty beer cans and bottles - and one policewoman said: "It was a scene of filth and disorder."
Stevenson admitted four charges of child neglect and was told by Judge Wright: "This is an appalling state of affairs. You left four children alone to fend for themselves.
"The kitchen was a potential time-bomb in terms of potential injury to children who are left unsupervised.
"They were left to fend for themselves because you had decided to go out for your own personal gratification, drinking and taking drugs."
Richard Bennett, defending, said Stevenson had been depressed over her break-up with the father of two of her boys.
The four children are now in the care of grandparents and Stevenson is only allowed supervised access.
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