A MOTHER cleared of the manslaughter of her baby son more than 10 years ago has been jailed for 16 months – for her 29th ASBO breach.
Gaynor Thomas’ life was wrecked when her 10-week-old son Dominick died from suffocation at her then home in Ellesmere Port in 1999, Mold Crown Court was told.
She denied the deliberate suffocation of the child and the prosecution case against her was thrown out by the trial judge at Chester Crown Court in 2000.
But Robin Boag, defending, said that despite the acquittal her life had never been the same.
Thomas, now of Butterton Road, Rhyl, had turned to drink and her life had gone downhill since then. When drunk she would repeatedly dial 999 for no reason.
She was placed on an ASBO under which she was not to use the 999 system unless it was a genuine emergency. She was also banned from using the non-emergency 101 system but had 28 convictions for breaching the order and six convictions for misusing the telecommunications system.
The latest breached happened at about 6.40pm on November 25 when police received a 999 call from a public telephone kiosk in Grange Road, Rhyl. The caller was a woman who seemed to be drunk and barely coherent.
She said she could not feel her left foot and wanted to “chop it off”, explained Caroline Harris, prosecuting.
Helped by CCTV operators the police located Thomas, who was described as being “highly intoxicated and aggressive”.
She was taken by ambulance to hospital but was then arrested. Interviewed, she said she could not remember making the call.
Mr Boag said before the death of her son Thomas, who had two other daughters, had never been convicted of an offence.
After her acquittal, Mr Boag said he could remember coming out of Chester Crown Court and Thomas, who no longer had care of her daughters, saying to him “what do I do now”?
“Her life was wrecked,” he said. “The drink then took hold.”
Mr Boag said a psychiatric report suggested Thomas had a personality disorder which arose from her “catastrophic experience”.
He said she repeatedly breached the ASBO when drunk and appreciated that by misusing the 999 system she was potentially diverting emergency services from people in real need.
“In many respects, through circumstances for which she was not directly responsible, she has had her life wrecked and things have gone downhill since then,” he said.
Judge Niclas Parry jailed Thomas for 12 months for the latest ASBO breach with an additional four months from an earlier suspended sentence imposed for the same offence.
“The time has come for the public to be given a rest from you, not only a rest but protection,” Judge Parry told her.
“What you are doing, potentially, is causing essential services to be distracted. The time has come for you to receive a sentence that will stop you.”
Judge Parry said it was a sad case and Thomas was clearly vulnerable and he would not impose a new ASBO upon her.
“It is up to you when you come out. You will have a clean slate,” he said.