'Totally unfit to be a mother': Kelly Horner jailed for leaving her baby screaming in agony for hours at Hull house
A MOTHER has been jailed for leaving her baby screaming in agony for five hours after the infant's face was shoved into a scalding hot bath.
Kelly Horner, 23, had passed out on a bed after taking a cocktail of drink and drugs when her boyfriend John Ward pushed her four-month-old daughter's face into a hot bath, leaving her badly burned.
Now, a judge has jailed Horner for 21 months for child neglect, declaring her "comprehensively unfit" to be a mother.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said: "The baby must have experienced incalculable terror, she must have been in agony and she must have struggled.
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"That baby must have screamed the house down in the aftermath of the violence visited upon her.
"You did nothing of any significance for five hours."
He has ruled Horner must never be allowed to be in charge of a child again.
Hull Crown Court heard Ward, 19, had run a hot bath for the baby after taking drugs and alcohol at Horner's three-bedroom house in Bransholme in April.
He then placed the baby's head in the burning hot water, scalding her.
Ward woke Horner to tell her he had hurt the baby but they did not take the little girl to hospital for five hours.
Even after they finally took the screaming baby to hospital, Ward and Horner lied to doctors, concocting a story that a cup of tea had been spilt on the child.
As soon as hospital staff saw the extent of the baby's injuries, she was transferred to a specialist burns unit.
Doctors also discovered bite marks on the baby's arms and fractures to her legs, prompting concerned hospital staff to call police and social services.
Horner, who now lives in Beverley, claimed she did not tell police because she did not want to get Ward, who has learning difficulties, into trouble.
Ward, of Willerby, has already been jailed for eight-and-a-half-years for grievous bodily harm with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and child cruelty.
The court heard Horner used Ward as a "glorified babysitter" and had lied to him, pretending the child was his.
Judge Richardson QC said Horner had spent most of the day of the attack in bed, revealing her "hopeless parenting".
He told her: "At the time, you were taking illegal drugs, including ecstasy and cannabis, and that by itself made you a wholly deficient parent.
"You told the police you panicked and didn't want to get Ward into trouble.
"You prioritised your relationship with Ward instead of seeking urgent medical treatment for your baby daughter, who was severely burned."
The judge said her crime demanded an immediate jail sentence.
He said: "You are comprehensively unfit to be a mother and I trust you never have responsibility for any other children again."