Two Pembrokeshire parents got drunk in a hot tub in their garden before picking their children up from school, a court has heard.
The pair, who cannot be named, were spotted by witnesses drinking at their home at 9.30am on July 4 last year and at one point were seen naked in their hot tub.
Shortly after 3pm the mother went to get her two children from school and, according to the witness, was visibly drunk. At this point her husband was passed out on the lawn of their property with what appeared to be a box of wine next to him.
The mother returned with her two young children, both under the age of seven, and went into the hot tub with her daughter. Witnesses heard the child screaming and trying to keep her drunk mother out of the water.
When police arrived they found the daughter in a very distressed state, saying that her father had fallen down the stairs and that she was scared, and that her mother had been drinking gin and was drunk in the hot tub.
The children were taken away from the property. When a police officer returned with social workers to find some clothes for them, he reported that the house was ‘absolutely filthy’ and ‘no place for children’.
He was unable to find one item of clean clothes for the children and ended up buying them clothes from Tesco.
Both parents had previously admitted causing the ill treatment, neglect and unnecessary suffering of their two young children.
Magistrates at Haverfordwest on Wednesday, 1 February, heard that the mother had one previous conviction for being drunk in a public place and the father a previous conviction for theft. Both of these had happened some time ago.
Tom Lloyd, defending, said that his clients had not been actively mean or unfair to their children. They were not wilfully neglectful, but had used alcohol as a crutch when they had been going through difficult times.
He said that they were both remorseful and ‘extremely disappointed’ in themselves and had worked hard with the relevant agencies to address their problems.
He said that the house was now clean and tidy and that the couple were working with social services for a safe phased return of the children.
He added that they had found not being with their children for the last six months very difficult.
Mr Lloyd’s mitigation convinced the magistrates to issue a community order, as recommended by the probation service.
Both parents were given an 18 month community order with a 120 tagged day alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement and a 15 day rehabilitation requirement.
They were both ordered to pay £85 costs and a £114 victim surcharge.
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