A MUM who went on a vodka drinking binge was arrested after her baby daughter was found with a cut and bruised face.

Bolton Crown Court heard how the woman and her children had gone to live with her mother in Bolton after escaping an abusive relationship.

The grandmother left the house at 7am to go to work one day in April last year, but when she returned at 5pm she found her daughter on a bed with the four-month-old baby whilst older children watched TV.

“The grandmother noticed the child was crying. She formed the view she had been crying for some time. She also noticed the child had red marks and scratches to her face,” said Paul Treble, prosecuting.

“She asked her daughter what had happened. She made no response.”

The grandmother took the baby downstairs and gave her some milk before calling an ambulance because she was concerned about the injuries.

Ambulance staff then informed police, who went to the house that evening to speak to the mother.

“When they went into the bedroom the defendant wouldn’t engage with them. She basically covered herself with a duvet and refused to talk,” said Mr Treble.

When Det Sgt Joanne Little informed her she was being arrested on suspicion of child neglect, the mother became aggressive, struggled, tried to headbutt officers and bit the detective sergeant’s leg, leaving her with a scar.

The baby was accompanied to hospital by her grandmother where doctors found bruises and scratches on the child’s face, abdomen and legs as well as dried blood around the lips and nose.

“The paediatrician took the view that these were as a result of non-accidental injury,” said Mr Treble.

The court heard that social services became involved and the grandmother now has custody of the children with their mother having supervised contact.

When interviewed by police the woman, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of her children, said that she felt she could not cope and admitted she had been drinking vodka throughout the day.

"She can't remember what happened," said Mr Treble. "When matters were put to her she expressed surprise and remorse. She said, ' If that's what's happened I must have done it but I can't remember'."

The woman, of previous good character, pleaded guilty to child cruelty and causing actual bodily harm to the police officer.

Neil Ronan, defending, said the mother had endured 12 years in abusive relationships.

"She has come to a degree of insight about her behaviour. She leans on drink when she can't cope," said Mr Ronan.

But he added: "She is now taking positive steps to make sure the children will see her in a different light forever more."

Sentencing the woman to a two year community order, Judge Stead commented: " This is a very unhappy case

"In fairness to you, I think you are genuinely remorseful for what happened.

"I have no reason to think you do not have your children's welfare in mind."

He added:" It won't happen again if you learn the lessons, adopt coping strategies, rely on your family support and, above all, avoid alcohol, because it doesn't mix well with you."

As part of her sentence the mum must have treatment for alcohol addiction, participate in 25 days of rehabilitation activities and undertake a women's problem solving course.