Mum who turned blind eye as boyfriend sexually abused her daughter has sentence halved

editorial image

A former alcoholic mum who was jailed for turning a blind eye as her boyfriend sexually abused her daughter had her sentence slashed by judges today.

The 50-year-old, who lives near Mansfield, Notts, left the little girl alone with the man when she knew there was a risk she might be abused.

She admitted child cruelty last year and was sent down for 20 months - but today saw that halved to only 10 months on appeal.

Senior judges said her crimes were ‘serious’, but her personal mitigation justified a shorter sentence.

“This was a serious case of cruelty to a young child and the judge was entitled to assess her culpability as high,” said Mrs Justice Cox.

“The complainant suffered significant psychological harm.

“The custodial threshold was clearly passed and the judge was entitled to conclude that these offences merited an immediate custodial sentence.

“However, we see some force in the submission that the sentence of 20 months’ imprisonment was excessive.

“The strong personal mitigating features weren’t sufficiently factored into the sentence imposed.

“She had herself been the victim of cruelty, neglect and abuse as a child and was assessed as having low intelligence.

“We accept the submission that, in this sad case, the term was excessive.

“We consider that the appropriate term of imprisonment was 10 months’ imprisonment.”

The Court of Appeal heard the offences took place when the child was under 10 and the mum was drinking, taking drugs and under the influence of her boyfriend.

One one occasion, she left the girl unsupervised in a communal area outside her flat and on another had sex with her boyfriend in front of the child.

Most seriously, she left her daughter with the man and ‘didn’t prevent him sexually assaulting her when aware of the risk’, said Mrs Justice Cox.

Lawyers for the mum today argued at the London court that the 20-month sentence was too long and could even have been suspended.

Mrs Justice Cox, sitting with Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, dismissed the notion that the woman should not have gone to prison at all.

But she said 10 months would reflect the seriousness of her offences, mitigated by her difficult personal circumstances.