A DRUG addict has been jailed for letting a mother abandon her child in his drug den.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said the boy was “dirty, cold and hungry” when police found him.

Amy Levitt, prosecuting, told York Crown Court officers looked for him at his mother’s address and another address before finding him at the defendant’s home.

“The flat was dark and cold, there was debris all over the flat and drug paraphernalia lying all around,” she said.

The child, dressed only in a t-shirt and underpants and wrapped in a blanket, was sitting on sofa cushions on the floor. He had not seen his mother for days, she said.

The judge told the defendant: “You ask me to give you a prison sentence and that is unfortunately what I am driven to do in the circumstances.”

The court heard the defendant could have told the mother she couldn’t leave her child in his flat, because of the “appalling state” he was living in. Instead he had taken the child in for “a protracted period”.

The defendant, now of no fixed address, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to a child neglect charge by allowing the mother to leave the boy with him and failure to attend court to be sentenced.

He was jailed for 12 weeks.

His solicitor advocate Graham Parkin said: “The defendant doesn’t wish me to make representations in respect of avoiding immediate custody.”

The defendant was homeless, had mental health problems and was targeted by people wanting to “borrow” money from him, he said.

He felt that he would get help if he was jailed. In 2010 he had managed to kick his drug habit and stay out of trouble for years.

The judge said he wanted those supervising the defendant on his release from prison to provide the discipline he needed to stay off drugs. Mr Parkin said the defendant had missed the earlier court hearing because of his mental health and drug problems.

He had then contacted police to tell them he was staying with his brother.