A MUM allegedly let her kids trash her neighbour's home – leaving poo and smashed eggs all over the floor.
The children also drew on the walls, threw apple juice on the bed, and left cigarette butts in the sink before making off with whatever they could find, a court heard.
This included a watch, perfume, books, toys and make-up – as well as a packet of noodles, TeessideLive reports.
A neighbour raised the alarm when she noticed the victim's back gate was open and kids were running in and out of the house.
She later heard a child's voice shouting "they've gone" once police had left the premises.
Days later, one of the youngsters was spotted wearing the victim's jumper and scarf.
Cops also found several more of their belongings when they searched the mother's home.
The mum, in her 30s, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to the burglary on the day her trial was due to start.
Teesside Crown Court heard that the victim had been visiting her mother after the lifting of Covid lockdown restrictions when the burglary took place.
Samuel Ponniah, defending, told the court that the single mum had been "overwhelmed looking after her children during lockdown" – when she was also pregnant.
She claimed she had only gone into her neighbour's house to get her children out of there, insisting she had not played any part in the burglary.
Judge Jonathan Carroll told the mum her life was "almost a basket case", adding: "You've got children, but you are the adult.
"I don't have a magic wand to fix your situation at all. You have to be in control of your children – they need their mother.
"If I send you to prison, your children would go into care. That is a catastrophic and overwhelming consequence for the children.
"You've got a long road ahead of you. You need significant intervention."
The mum landed a 47-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.
She was also ordered to attend 50 rehabilitation days and to take part in a Women's Service Programme and return to court in January 2022.
The judge added: "I've done what I can to help you save your family."
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