Mother, 26, abandons baby in the middle of the road in freezing conditions as she 'couldn't cope'
The mother was spared jail time, and given a 8-month suspended sentence, as the judge felt that she was working to resolve her problem
A woman who abandoned her baby in the middle of the road in freezing temperatures escaped prison time and was only given a suspended sentence. The 26-year-old mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to a charge of abandoning a child and causing the child's life to be endangered but was spared jail time by the judge.
According to the Daily Mail, Prosecutor Danielle Gilmour told the York Crown Court of how Alex Wilson was driving after dark in Ripon, North Yorkshire, on a November evening when he came across a child seat dumped at a junction.
She said the seat was black and that Wilson could barely see it because there were no street lights, also revealing how the temperature that day was just above freezing. She told the court that he stopped despite initial concerns that the seat was an elaborate ploy to get him out of his car.
He initially drove on, but then turned back after spotting what he thought was a foot sticking out of the side of the seat. When he reached the seat, he found there was a baby boy strapped to it.
Wilson was quoted as saying, "It was literally a child in a carrier, in the middle of the road. It was a completely black carrier and the only reason I saw it was because the boy had a lighter-colored onesie on," adding, "You don't just leave a baby in the middle of a road."
However, police successfully tracked the mother down and said she was "looking pale, unwell, and crying." When asked if she had left the child in the middle of the road, she reportedly confessed that she "left him for two minutes" because she "couldn't cope."
CCTV footage later confirmed that the 26-year-old had placed the carrier at the junction and walked off just minutes before Wilson drove by and found the seat. It also emerged that she suffered from a long-term drug problem and had a number of previous convictions related to her habit.
During her hearing this past week, overseeing Judge Andrew Stubbs QC called her actions a "shocking example of neglect" and sentenced her to a suspended eight-month prison sentence. He also ordered that she go on a 30-day rehabilitation programme.
"You did something that was unimaginable to any parent," he chastised her. " It was only due to the care of Mr. Wilson that the carrier seat was recovered and no harm came to (the baby) but it could have been so, so different."
He noted that while such an offense would normally warrant a custodial sentence, he would be suspending it because the 26-year-old was making an effort to beat her drug problem. He also commended Wilson for his actions and awarded him £250 ($326) from public funds.