Children left home alone lit candle
Published: 23 Aug 2012 13:00
Fermanagh Court heard that when officers entered the house they discovered that the children had taken matches and lit a candle in a bedroom as a Mother's Day surprise.
Deputy District Judge Paul Conway told the 28-year-old mother: "Whilst there was no harm to your children there was an obvious risk they could have burnt themselves very seriously. The fact they were able to get hold of matches and the candle, without your supervision they could have been seriously injured or killed."
He conditionally discharged her for 12 months. If she does not commit another offence within that period she will hear no more about the matter.
The mother was originally charged with wilfully abandoned the children in a manner likely to cause them unnecessary suffering or injury to health.
However, when she appeared in court on Monday a lawyer for the Public Prosecution Service applied to have the charge amended to one of allowing a child to be in a room containing a heating appliance without taking precautions against the risk of them being burned or scalded.
The woman pleaded guilty to the amended charge. She cannot be named for legal reasons.
The prosecutor told the court that on Mothering Sunday, March 18, at approximately 9.30am, police were making door-to-door inquiries about an entirely unrelated matter when they called at the woman's home. The door was answered by her seven-year-old daughter, who told them the only other person in the house was her eight-year-old brother. The police were concerned and entered the house to find the boy holding a cup of scalding hot coffee, which he said he had made for his mother. There was a number of spent matches on the kitchen table and in an upstairs bedroom the children had placed a rose and a lit candle. The boy told the police it was for Mothers' Day. Police took the children and left a note for their mother. Around 90 minutes later she called at the Police Station and made no comment to any of the questions she was asked.
The children were placed in the care of a relative for just over two weeks.
The prosecutor said Social Services had confirmed the children are now back in the care of their mother and they are monitoring the situation and have no concerns.
Defence barrister, Miss Heather Philips, told the court the children were left for a very short time and prepared a Mothers' Day surprise. Since the incident she had been exceptionally emotional. Social Services had carried out announced and unannounced visits and it was evident the mother has a loving relationship with her children and provides for their physical and emotional needs.
The Deputy District Judge told the mother a report by Social Services described her as a "very loving and caring mother" and having the children taken from her was probably greater punishment than anything the court could impose.
"You do look after your children and this appears to be a momentary lapse," he concluded.
Get more stories from our Roundup section
10 Dec 2013 21:45
A 22-year-old man has been fined £400 and banned from driving for 12 months after the behaviour of his front-seat passenger attracted the attention of police.
10 Dec 2013 18:30
A 23-year-old mother who spent two months in prison accused of child cruelty has been released after the charges against her were withdrawn.
10 Dec 2013 16:00 • Lily Dane
Enniskillen Rotary Club’s Santa Mobile is gearing up for this year’s fundraising journey in the run up to Christmas.
10 Dec 2013 13:30
A 63-year-old farmer has been fined £1,000 for polluting a stream with silage effluent.
10 Dec 2013 10:25
About 170 people in Fermanagh suffered power cuts during last Thursday’s storm, NIE (Northern Ireland Electricity) has revealed.
10 Dec 2013 08:30
A 22-year-old man can’t recall punching a stranger in the face and fracturing his jaw, Fermanagh Court has been told.
9 Dec 2013 21:45
Two local boat owners have been prosecuted for leaving their motor cruisers moored at the Round ‘O’ public jetty in Enniskillen for longer than 48 hours.
9 Dec 2013 18:45
Pupils from Ballinamallard Primary School have won a poster competition to highlight road safety.
9 Dec 2013 15:30
A 50-year-old farmer seen staggering across a road, getting into a vehicle and starting the engine, had no intention of driving, Fermanagh Court has been told.
9 Dec 2013 12:50 • Editorial Department
Out of all the seasons, driving in the winter requires the most care and preparation.
9 Dec 2013 08:30 • Editorial Department
Opportunities were afforded for people to ‘find out more about tracing their family history and the history of their local community’ at a recent Family History Fair in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen.
8 Dec 2013 21:30 • Editorial Department
Police launched their Christmas campaign against drinking and driving with a zero tolerance message of: “Not even one - because just one drink can kill.”
8 Dec 2013 18:30 • Meadhbh Monahan
Q: What is ‘entrepreneurship education’ and how is it being fostered in South West College? - Yvonne South West College is the only Northern Irish member of the Gazelle Group; a recognisable cluster of entrepreneurial colleges across the UK.
8 Dec 2013 14:30 • Editorial Department
A 32-year-old pregnant mother of three has lost her baby while in prison awaiting trial for the burglary of the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.
8 Dec 2013 12:00 • Editorial Department
First place in this year’s Soroptimist International Enniskillen and District Annual Youth Award Public Speaking Competition was awarded to Siobhan Kerr, a pupil at Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School.
8 Dec 2013 09:00 • Editorial Department
The first woman to be appointed a bishop in the Anglican church in the British Isles, has local connections.
7 Dec 2013 20:30 • Editorial Department
A 23-year-old man had his teeth knocked out in what he claimed was a “sectarian” attack in Lisnaskea last Christmas.
7 Dec 2013 19:49 • Meadhbh Monahan
“I was beaten with a baseball bat with nails on it, in the dark, at 4am; [deciding whether to protest at a frack site] is a big challenge for parents and a big decision to make.” That was one message given to over 100 people who attended a Ban Fracking Fermanagh meeting in the Railway Hotel today (Saturday), from Tara Canon from Bundoran, who protested for two years against a motorway going through The Hill of Tara in County Meath.
7 Dec 2013 17:16
Ballinamallard claimed the points at Ferney Park today as Davy Kee's 69th minute goal earned them the victory against Ards.