Ruth Evans drank in the Chequers Inn after leaving a child alone in a house
by Paul Hooper
A woman from High Halden left a young child alone in a house – while she went boozing at a pub.
And when police arrested 41-year-old Ruth Evans for being drunk and disorderly, she was so drunk she could not remember where the youngster was.
Fortunately, officers using a satnav were able to find the child – who cannot be named for legal reasons - asleep on a sofa, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
Now Evans, of Hopes Grove, has been told she should be "thoroughly ashamed" of herself after admitting cruelty to a child, being in charge of a car while unfit through drink and an assault on the police officer.
"you must surely be thoroughly ashamed of your behaviour that night..." – judge james o'mahony
Prosecutor Jim Harvey told how in June last year the landlady at the Chequers Inn in High Halden called police because of growing concern over Evans's drunken behaviour.
"She had gone to the pub to ask if she could purchase bottles of wine and had been told that was acceptable," he said. "She had consumed a half-pint of shandy and then proceeded to share one of the bottles of wine that she had bought with some customers.
"After some time she was told the bar was closing, but at this Evans started to become abusive and aggressive."
The court heard once outside, Evans became confused about where one of the bottles of wine had gone – which had been placed in her car.
But she began kicking the pub door to attempt to get back inside and started rowing with other bar staff until police were called.
One of the officers attempted to reason with Evans, but had "no fruitful conversation" with her because she was "extremely wound up", the prosecutor said.
"The officer formed the view she was under the influence of alcohol. She demanded they stood in a certain place before agreeing to even talk to them."
It was then the drunken Evans lunged at one of the officers and pushed him forcefully with both her hands while she was "baring her teeth".
Mr Harvey said a second officer then restrained her and arrested her for being drunk and disorderly.
As they travelled to the police station Evans revealed that a child was alone in a house – but she could not remember where it was.
"They asked her repeatedly but just received drunken mutterings in response.
"They were eventually able to get help from others to get into the property where the child was found asleep on the sofa," Mr Harvey added.
Thomas Restell, defending, said Evans was having treatment for her alcohol problems and her crime was a "sin of omission and not physical cruelty".
He said Evans had faced a number of crises in her life, with "death after death after death" which "is enough to wear down even the strongest of people".
Evans was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid community work, but escaped an immediate driving ban – receiving 10 penalty points instead.
Judge James O'Mahony told her: “What you did was very serious because you abandoned this child to go off drinking. You must surely be thoroughly ashamed of your behaviour that night.
"I accept you have had a pretty miserable time as far as your life is concerned but you can't use your utter drunkenness as some kind of crutch."