Toddler left to wander alone in a Norwich street, court hears

A woman who allowed a toddler in her care to wander alone on a major Norwich street, has been given a six-month suspended jail term by a judge who said she had exposed the child to an 'incredibly dangerous situation'.

Jeanette Seaman, 39, who Norwich Crown Court heard had alcohol and drug problems, had not realised the child, who was dressed in just a nappy and T-shirt, had wandered off on its own after she claimed that a visitor had not shut the gate to her home in Barrett Road in Lakenham, Norwich.

Philip Charnley, prosecuting, said that a motorist had spotted the toddler 'staggering' along the busy road. The motorist blocked the road and rescued the child.

When police visited Seaman's address they found it was in an untidy and unkempt state and drugs and broken glass were on the floor of the property.

Seaman admitted one charge of child cruelty between July 2 and 4.

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Sentencing her, Recorder Guy Ayers said she owed a great debt of gratitude to the motorist who had stopped. 'You failed to exercise proper care.'

He said she had made the excuse that someone visiting the property had left the gate open but he said: 'That does not exclude you from responsibility.'

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He jailed her for six months, suspended for two years, and also ordered her to be placed on a four-month curfew.

Katharine Moore, for Seaman, said she was taking methadone and Valium and this had made her unable to function properly but she was now making changes and was addressing her drug misuse.

'She expresses genuine remorse.'

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