Leeds & West Yorkshire

Young boys left home alone as mum flew to Paris for wedding planning

The Eiffel Tower is seen in front of the Sacre Coeur Basilica on Montmartre Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The boys were left at home in Bradford while their mother flew to Paris to organise her wedding

Two young boys were left home alone in Bradford with just a pan of soup to eat when their mother went on a two-day trip to Paris, a court has heard.

The brothers, aged six and 11, were found by police after the younger boy told his teacher his mum was in France.

The single mother had taken the trip to make arrangements for her wedding to a man she met online.

She was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for a year after admitting two charges of child neglect.

Bradford Crown Court heard earlier the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went to Manchester Airport in March and boarded a flight to Paris leaving the youngsters "home alone".

Prosecutor Philip Adams told the court she intended to fly back the next day, but would not have arrived home until about midnight.

'Terrible mistake'

The court was told the younger boy's school tried unsuccessfully to contact his mother before his older brother turned up to collect him.

He was allowed to go with his brother, but the school alerted police and the boys were placed in overnight accommodation.

Their mother was arrested the following day when she returned.

She told police she had travelled to Paris to make arrangements to marry and had initially wanted the boys to stay with a friend.

She said she was then "persuaded" by her older son that he and his brother would be fine at home.

Defending her, Tom Rushbrooke said she realised that she had made a "terrible mistake", and in all other respects was a caring mother.

Wedding plans 'still on'

Sentencing her, Judge Robert Bartfield told her she had put them "in significant danger".

However, he said the case was different from those where people went on holiday leaving small children behind, and fortunately no harm was done.

Judge Bartfield said as the boys had only recently been returned to their mother, this had persuaded him not to impose an immediate jail sentence.

The court also heard that she still hoped to go ahead with her wedding.

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