THE mother of a young child who needs specialist medical treatment abandoned him overnight after failing to take him to hospital appointments, York Crown Court heard.

Anthony Moore, prosecuting, said the little boy had undergone several medical procedures. He needed supervising at mealtimes for his own safety and had to have a special diet.

The mother's neglect of him came to light when police found the five-year-old child home alone at midnight with the front door unlocked and a bottle of bleach on the kitchen floor, as well as other potential hazards. The boy was in his bed asleep upstairs.

York Press:

When police contacted the mother by telephone, she told them she was at a friend's and wouldn't return home until the next day.

Officers immediately arranged for the child to be taken elsewhere for his care. The mother returned at 8am on a bicycle. Contacted by phone at 11am, she declined to go to the police station until that afternoon, and they went and arrested her.

Over a two and a half year period, she had ignored more than 20 telephone calls and texts from medical professionals, failed to attend four hospital appointments and didn't tell the child's school the need for him to be supervised at mealtimes.

"A custodial sentence of some length is the proper sentence," said the Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, and remanded her in jail until today (Tuesday) when he will tell her her punishment.

The mother, now 25, from North Yorkshire, admitted three charges of child neglect including leaving him home alone. She is not being identified to protect the child.

For her, Graham Parkin said she had been overwhelmed by the extra care needed for the child and had turned to alcohol to cope.

"She feels the number of instructions she was being given for the boy's care and the complexity of them became too much for her," he said. "She had cared for this child. She has done all she could and did it well until the child went to school."

For three years, she had attended all hospital appointments, worked with medical professionals and had gone through a detailed risk assessment with the school before his first day in class.

She had also had the problems caused by at least one abusive relationship.