Sheffield mum jailed for child cruelty after failing to take youngster to hospital for serious burns
A Sheffield mum who did not seek medical assistance for over nine hours after her young child suffered serious burns has been jailed for two years.
Judge Sarah Wright jailed the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, for two years for child cruelty after she pleaded guilty to the offence at an earlier hearing.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how the child suffered the burns in an accident that occurred while they were in their mother’s care.
Prosecutor, David Wain, said the youngster received the burns shortly after midnight, but the woman did not take them to hospital until 9.30am the following morning.
Prior to this, Mr Wain said the woman’s attempts to treat her child’s burns were limited to putting cold water on the burns and giving them a dose of Calpol.
“The child was found to have suffered superficial, partial thickness burns,” said Mr Wain, adding that staff at the hospital noticed the smell of alcohol on the woman’s breath when she arrived at the hospital.
Mr Wain said medical evidence suggested the burns would have been ‘excruciatingly painful’ for the child, and would have blistered ‘almost immediately’.
The child was in such pain when they arrived at the hospital that they had to be given morphine before medics were able to treat them, the court heard. They were kept in at the burns unit at Sheffield Children’s Hospital for 12 days following the accident, which took place last year.
The court was told how in the months following the accident the child was too afraid to look in the mirror, because they felt they looked like a ‘monster’.
“Fortunately, and surprisingly, the child has made a remarkable recovery,”said Mr Wain.
Dermot Hughes, defending, described his client as a ‘vulnerable and complex character’ of low intelligence.
As she sent the woman to prison, Judge Wright said: “You were the child’s mother, the one person they ought to have been able to look to for protection and care.”