Child walked the icy streets of Wakefield city centre

Linda Bluma

Linda Bluma

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THIS is the mother whose four-year-old daughter walked the city’s busy and icy streets alone.

The little girl was dressed in just tights, a body warmer and shoes as she crossed Marsh Way in the grip of wintry conditions in January 2010.

Judge Gillian Matthews QC, jailing mother Linda Bluma for four months for child neglect, said: “She could have been run over. She could have been abducted.”

Leeds Crown Court heard how the little girl was spotted by a traffic warden at 9.45am on January 9. He saw the girl press the button on the pedestrian crossing at Marsh Way. She crossed the road and entered the bus station. A concerned market trader told police about the girl and staff from a charity shop brought her some warm clothing.

Latvian Bluma, 25, attended at the police station at 12.15pm and smelt “strongly of stale intoxicants”.

She told police she had awoken at 7.30am that day and her daughter was in bed next to her. But she woke up again later and found her gone.

The mum said her daughter had climbed onto a bike to unlock the door.

Bluma, of no fixed abode, was convicted of child neglect. She also faced three charges of failing to surrender to bail. The court heard the care authorities had stepped in and were taking care of the little girl.

Richard Butters, mitigating, said: “The court is not dealing with an evil girl who sets out to harm her children. She is a young girl deficient in parenting, immature.”

He said drink had been a pivotal factor contributing to the neglect.