A mother shouted that her young child was possessed after she had been smoking crack cocaine, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

The woman, who can’t be named to protect the identity of the youngster, was staying at a squalid flat in the Bradford area when police were called to a disturbance there.

Prosecutor Philip Standfast said there was concern about the welfare of the child who was found asleep on the floor.

The mother was shouting that the child was possessed. She had been smoking crack cocaine and the flat was untidy, with dirty nappies and drinking glasses on the floor, the court was told.

There were no toys at the address and the fridge contained congealed milk.

Police were told the woman had been feeding the small child on Pot Noodles and Weetabix that Mr Standfast said was an unsuitable diet for a child of that age.

The child tested positive for a breakdown derivative of cocaine in their urine.

Mr Standfast stressed that there was no suggestion she had actually given the child any drugs but she admitted smoking crack cocaine in the flat and the child must have been in an environment where it was being used.

The woman, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to child cruelty by neglect at the magistrates’ court.

Ian Hudson said in mitigation that she had turned her life around since committing the offence.

She was drug free and her probation officer said she was at a low risk of reoffending.

Recorder Thomas Moran sentenced her to an 18 month community order with 20 rehabilitation activity days.

He said the child was discovered at a squalid property while she was habitually using crack cocaine.

“This was a difficult time in your life,” he told her.

The huge strides she had made since then were quite an achievement, Recorder Moran said.

The woman was spoken of in glowing terms by her probation officer and the health professionals who had been working with her.