Heroin found next to children's lunchboxes in 'squalid drugs den'

Heroin found next to children's lunchboxes in 'squalid drugs den'

February 6, 2023

Pictured: ‘Squalid drugs den’ where heroin was found next to children’s lunchboxes – before mother and a friend were arrested for failing to look after the youngsters

  • Police arrested a woman carrying heroin for drug dealing in Swansea, Wales
  • At her home, they found more of the Class A drug next to children’s lunchboxes 
  • A man was found passed out after smoking heroin as two children slept in bed 

Pictures of a ‘squalid drugs den’ where heroin was found next to children’s lunchboxes have been revealed – as a mother and her friend were convicted of failing to look after the youngsters.

Police gained entry to the house in Swansea, south Wales, to check on the two children’s welfare after arresting the woman for drug dealing, a court heard. 

Inside, officers found them asleep in bed while a friend of their mother was lying in the living room, having smoked heroin. 

The mother insisted in a police interview that her children were well-fed and cared for, regularly went to school and knew ‘not to touch mummy’s stuff’.

But at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Paul Hobson told her she and her children had lived in a ‘drugs den’ as he sentenced her to nine months in jail for child neglect, to serve alongside her current prison term for drug-dealing.

The house was described as in a ‘squalid’ state, with a stash of heroin found not far from the children’s lunchboxes

The male defendant was given a two-year community order with a rehabilitation requirement. The pair cannot be named to protect the identity of the children.

Alycia Carpanini, prosecuting, told the court that the woman was arrested by police last summer on suspicion of being involved in drug-dealing. 



A search revealed she was carrying 141g of heroin. The court heard that after hearing the defendant’s worried remarks about her children, officers decided to attend her home address.

Once there, they found a man asleep in the living room with a piece of foil in one hand and a lighter in the other. 

When he was roused, he said the woman had asked him to look after her children – and that after feeding them and putting them to bed, he had smoked heroin which he had taken to the address.

The two children were asleep in bed upstairs. The court heard the house was poorly kept and a search of the property found a stash of heroin next to the children’s lunchboxes in the kitchen.

In her subsequent interview, the mother, who is in her 30s, insisted that she looked after her children. She said that on the night in question, she and her friend had smoked heroin after the youngsters had gone to bed. 

She told officers she kept her heroin on top of a cupboard and her children knew ‘not to touch mummy’s stuff’.

In his interview, the man at the property, aged in his 40s, said he had been fishing when his friend called him and asked him to look after her children for an hour. 

He said they had eaten a takeaway before his friend went out for the night and he said that after ensuring the youngsters were asleep, he had smoked heroin. 

He described himself as a habitual user of the drug and spent £10 a day on his habit.

Both defendants pleaded guilty to child neglect when they appeared in the dock for sentencing. 

The children’s mother is currently serving a significant prison sentence having been convicted at trial of possession of heroin with intent to supply in relation to the night she was arrested in Swansea.

Inside this neglected home in Swansea, south Wales, police found two children asleep in bed while a friend of their mother’s lay passed out in the living room, having smoked heroin

Ieuan Rees, for the female defendant, said his client had immediately shown concern for her children upon her arrest, which had alerted police to the situation at home. 

He said his client still had contact with her children but whether she would ever have custody of them again was ‘a matter for the future’.

Jon Tarrant, for the male defendant, said his client had ‘unwisely’ taken heroin to the house and decided to smoke it before falling asleep. 

He added that the man had ongoing health issues and there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

Judge Hobson told the woman that the risks she was exposing her children to must have been clear to her and that she was guilty of a dereliction of her duty as a mother. 

The judge told her that ‘perhaps against my better judgement’ he was willing to make her sentence concurrent, before sentencing her to nine months in prison.

Judge Hobson told the male defendant he too was guilty of the dereliction of his duty as the person left with responsibility for the youngsters.

The judge said the man had a long-standing drug problem and a ‘chaotic lifestyle’ and that, given his age he needed ‘to start acting responsibly’. 

The defendant took issue with the judge’s description of his conduct and began answering back, but he was told to ‘say nothing more’ if he wished to walk out of court with a non-custodial term.

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