A DRUNK mother who was warned she faced jail for neglecting her toddler has been handed only 60 hours of community service and been ordered to pay court costs.

The Hove woman, who The Argus cannot name to protect the identity of her children, was found so drunk she was barely able to stand at 11.30am.

Despite being warned by magistrates that she could face a custodial sentence after neglecting her son, the 31-year-old will only have to complete 60 hours of unpaid community service work during the course of a year.

Her two sons have been put into foster care.

On the day in question, the mother was found looking dishevelled on the floor of her toddler’s bedroom by police officers and a social worker who had to break into her home.

When questioned by police, she tried to blame her own children for “telling lies”.

When she was sentenced at Brighton Magistrates’ Court she was also ordered to pay £160 court costs, which will be deducted in monthly instalments from her benefits.

At a court hearing in July, social worker Abigail Gonzales said she tried to visit the mother at 9am on the morning of November 25.

However, it took two-and-a-half hours and four police officers banging on the door before she heard them and let them in.

Ms Gonzales told the court: “She was very dishevelled, her eyes were very bloodshot. She was swaying and appeared intoxicated.”

PC James Breeds said the mother was “kneeling on the floor almost holding on to the child for stability”.

He said: “She wasn’t very steady and probably the only thing stopping her falling over was the child. I remember her saying ‘the child lies’.

“She appeared incredibly drunk. She smelled of intoxicating liquor and her skin had a very sweaty appearance to it.

“She smelled much stronger than someone from a nightclub, for example, and I deal with that every week.”

When interviewed at Hollingbury police station 12 hours later, officers said she still smelled of alcohol, but she claimed to have drunk only a bottle of wine the night before and said she was not drunk at any point during the incident.