Sheffield boy, aged five, left home alone while his parents worked

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A five-year-old boy was left ‘home alone’ at weekends while his refugee parents worked nights, a court heard.

The 37-year-old mother worked as a care home assistant and her partner, 46, as a nightclub bouncer.

Their son was left alone in their north Sheffield home on Friday and Saturday nights during August.

The parents admitted child cruelty during a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court.

“It was the practice of the couple that their child was left at home unattended,” said Ben Campbell, prosecuting.

When arrested the mother said her cousin usually looked after the boy but said she was on holiday during August.

The boy was placed in care but has since been returned to his mother.

Andrew Swaby, for the father, said it was ‘short term’ abandonment while the couple were in low-paid jobs.

“Appropriate measures were not put in place but fortunately the child did not come to any harm,” he said.

Amy Earnshaw, for the mother, said she now employed a child minder.

“She felt she had been put in a situation of desperation,” she said.

“She was incredibly scared she would lose her boy.”

Sentencing the parents to 12 month community orders, Recorder Michael Hubbard, said: “They were doing their best to earn as much money as they could to better the home environment.”

He told the couple: “I am sorry in many ways that you are in a crown court but it underlines the seriousness of your conduct and I’m sure you now understand that.

“At the time you left your boy you had no idea that you could be facing a criminal charge for what you did.

“But you can’t leave a five-year-old boy in a house at night alone whatever the reason.”