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'working nights' 'Parents at work’ while eight-year-old boy found wandering the streets in his pyjamas

Boy’s mother (36) has been charged with child neglect following the incident

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AN eight-year-old boy was found wandering alone in pyjamas on a street in central Dublin while his parents were “working nights”, a court has heard.

The boy’s mother (36) appeared in court on a child neglect charge following the incident.

Her case was adjourned for the accused to decide how she intends to plead.

The woman is charged with one count of wilfully neglecting the boy, under the Children Act.

A garda sergeant told Dublin District Court the DPP directed summary disposal of the case in the district court, subject to the judge considering the issue of jurisdiction.

Judge Bryan Smyth asked for an outline of the prosecution’s case.

The sergeant said gardaí were on duty in the north city centre on a date in July last year when they found the accused’s son, “wandering around in shorts and a long-sleeved pyjama top”.

The garda spoke to the boy, who described his address and officers went and checked the accused’s home.

There was no appropriate adult present and the gardaí established the accused’s details and made contact with her and her partner, who were working nights, the sergeant said.

The woman was arrested and charged and a file was sent to the DPP.

The court heard the child was eight years old at the time.

Judge Smyth accepted jurisdiction in the case, allowing it to remain in the district court instead of being sent forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has greater potential sentencing powers on conviction.

Making a disclosure order to the defence, the judge noted that a full file had gone to the DPP, so there should be statements available.

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He ordered reporting restrictions, prohibiting the publication of any details that would identify the child, following a request by the defendant’s solicitor, Evan Moore.

Mr Moore applied for free legal aid on the woman’s behalf, saying that she was working and earning more than €300 a week but was paying more than €900 in rent.

She was not in receipt of rent allowance or HAP, he said.

The judge granted legal aid and adjourned the case to a date in December.

The woman has not yet indicated how she intends to plead to the charge.

The judge remanded her on continuing bail.

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