A MOTHER who lied about her toddler's facial injury and didn’t get medical help for him, has been sentenced.

The 23-year-old woman claimed her five-year-old daughter had caused the bruise that covered the left hand side of her small son's face, extending onto the neck and into the ear, said Andrew Finlay, prosecuting.

There were also gripping marks on the young boy’s arms.

The mother didn’t get medical help for him and tried to get her daughter to confess she had caused the injury to school staff, he said.

She now blames her former boyfriend, York Crown Court heard, and the children have been taken into care.

Mr Finlay said school staff took the boy to hospital where he was seen by two consultant paediatricians.

The mother, of central York, pleaded guilty to child cruelty on the day she was due to stand trial. She is not being named to protect the children.

Judge Sean Morris told her: “Young mothers who don’t put their children first must understand that they will be punished."

He gave her a community order with 20 days’ rehabilitative activities and 250 hours’ unpaid work.

He said the mother had tried to get her daughter to "parrot the lies”.

And he told her: “You have had the greatest punishment any mother could have. You have had the children removed from you.”

The prosecution accepted her plea on the basis she didn’t cause the injury and that she now knew that her partner at the time of the injury had been in trouble with the police.

“I now believe (the partner) must have caused the injuries,” she said in a plea document.

The judge said it had not been proved the partner was responsible.

For the mother, Sean Smith said she had mental health issues and a physical condition that meant she would go straight from the dock at York Crown Court to York Hospital for inpatient care.

Mr Finlay, said one paediatrician said it would have required a forceful blow to cause the bruise and the second that it wasn't the kind of injury that a little girl could cause.

Both agreed it had been caused deliberately.