The Heartless Mother; Jail for Woman Who Spent Hours Getting Drunk in a Club While Her 18-Month-Old Baby Was in a Freezing Car

Daily Mail (London), March 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

The Heartless Mother; Jail for Woman Who Spent Hours Getting Drunk in a Club While Her 18-Month-Old Baby Was in a Freezing Car


Byline: SUZANNE FINNEY

A MOTHER who left her toddler in a car for five hours in freezing temperatures while she got drunk in a nightclub was jailed yesterday.

Christiana Ribas danced the night away before staggering from the club and attempting to drive home with her 18-month-old daughter strapped in the back seat.

Ribas, 28, was so drunk a doorman took her car keys from her but she snatched them back and reversed into another car while hurling abuse at him.

A district judge at Manchester magistrates' court yesterday described it as one of the most shameful cases of child cruelty he had ever dealt with.

Jailing Ribas for three months, District Judge Alan Berg told her: 'The facts of this case beggar belief. It was an act of pure selfishness.'

Portuguese-born Ribas arrived at the Elemental nightclub in Manchester city centre at 9.30pm on February 21.

She parked nearby, leaving her daughter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, dressed in only shorts and a flimsy T-shirt, in the car in temperatures of -2C without food or drink.

Ribas laughed and joked with friends from the city's Metropolitan University, where she is studying IT, as she hit the dance floor.

Ribas is a regular at the club, which plays drum and bass music, and is a popular haunt for students.

Over the course of the evening she made several trips to the bar and doormen noticed Ribas was increasingly 'worse for wear'.

When they saw her heading to her car in the early hours one of them tried to stop her.

But after an argument with the doorman she jumped behind the wheel and crashed her Volkswagen Golf into another car. The doorman peered inside the car and was astonished to see the baby girl.

She had not been seen earlier because the car has blacked out windows.

Ribas was arrested and the child was immediately taken into the care of foster parents.

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