A Welsh woman who abandoned her 14-year-old daughter for six weeks with just £100 and a fridge full of food while she visited her lover abroad is being prosecuted.
The woman, who cannot be identified, left the country between April and June last year to visit her boyfriend in his homeland to arrange a British visa for him and because "it was cheaper than going for four weeks".
AdvertisementShe told Welshpool Magistrates' Court that she stocked her fridge and freezer with pizza, oven chips and microwave meals before she went abroad. She also claimed she arranged for a neighbour and her ex-husband, who is also the girl's father, to look after her while she was away.
She denies willfully causing her daughter to be neglected and abandoned in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health.
The trial heard that out of the girl's £100 allowance, £60 was spent almost immediately paying for school dinners for the period her mother was away, reports Western Mail.
The teenager told the court she spent most of the £40 left over on "clothes and CDs".
Social services were alerted to the girl's plight after only two days and they in turn arranged for her father, who said he was unaware his daughter had been left home alone, to look after her for the remainder of her mother's holiday.
Shaun Spencer, prosecuting, said, "The defendant finally returned from holiday in June.
"She was interviewed [by police] three days later and during the interview she apportioned blame for the situation on everybody else apart from herself. She accepted no responsibility. She stated that she left the country for six weeks, stating that it was cheaper to do that than go for four weeks.
"She confirmed that she didn't want her daughter to stay with her father because she was concerned about his drinking.
"It is noteworthy that later during the interview she went back on this and said she had, in her mind, made arrangements for the father to look after her daughter for three of the six weeks.
"She went on to state that for the other three weeks her neighbour was to look after her daughter."
The teenager's father and neighbour both denied knowledge of such arrangements during their evidence in court.
Referring to the teenager's interview with specially trained police officers, Spencer said, "When asked how she felt about her mother's absence, she said, 'She shouldn't have left me on my own'.
"She also confessed that she missed her mother."
Giving evidence, the defendant said her daughter could cook and would often make her meals while she was out working.
She also said her daughter moved back in with her after she returned to Britain from her trip.
Cross-examined about her parental responsibilities, the defendant said, "I have to pay £400 a month on my mortgage and keep my car on the road.
"I find it very difficult being a lone parent which is why I'm trying to get my boyfriend over here to finance us."
Spencer replied, "But you have enough money to go abroad two or three times a year."
When asked why she only left £100 for her daughter, she answered, "I said to her, 'If you want any more money, you go and see your father because he doesn't pay any maintenance'."
Spencer asked her, "Do you accept you opened up your daughter to potential dangers?"
She replied, "Yes, I think I did when I look back on it. I should never have done it - she should have gone to her father's [home]."
She added, "I'm not very good with rules and regulations."
The case will resume on February 8.