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Mom pleads guilty to abandoning child

A mother admitted abandoning her three-year-old child in an unlocked home so that she could visit with friends on Mother's Day.Magistrates' Court heard yesterday that hours after she left, neighbours found the child wandering lost in the streets of Southampton.The mother, which The Royal Gazette has chosen not to name to protect the identity of the child, was scheduled to appear in court for trial, but instead pleaded guilty to the charge of willfully abandoning or neglecting a child.Crown counsel Nicole Smith told the court that the mother left her Southampton home at around 10pm on May 9, to go to a friend's home in Pembroke, leaving her child sleeping, the television on and the front door shut but not locked. She reportedly left that home before daybreak on May 10, but did not go directly home.Neighbours found the child walking in the street in the early hours of May 10 wearing a pajama top, appearing nervous and scared.The toddler was also said to be shivering and showing symptoms of a cold.The neighbours spoke to the child, trying to locate the toddler's family, but the child would only say: “Mommy's gone work.”The neighbours took the child to the Somerset Police Station, where one of the officers on duty recognised the youngster.The court heard the child's grandmother is now taking care of the toddler.Magistrate Khamisi Tokumbo ordered a drug assessment report, a social inquiry report and a psychological assessment to be prepared before sentencing on February 4.He released the mother on $2,000 bail.