A WOMAN who left four young children to fend for themselves as she lay drunk on a couch has been sentenced to 160 hours community service.
30-year-old Vicky MacMaster was discovered by police at a home in Dalkeith at 7am on May 21.
Police made the discovery after they received a call from a staff member at a local school who spotted three youngsters - aged seven, eight and 10 - standing outside with no supervision.
MacMaster, who was found intoxicated at the property on Musselburgh Road, earlier pleaded guilty to being the person responsible for the care of the children and causing them unnecessary suffering and injury to health by allowing them to reside in an unclean and unsafe environment.
In addition, a three-year-old child, described as unresponsive and suffering from headlice, was in the house when officers showed up.
Sheriff Neil MacKinnon heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today how the home was extremely untidy and dirty, with empty cider bottles and beer cans - some covered in mould - scattered around the house.
A lawnmower was also randomly found in one bedroom, while a dead hamster and dead guinea pig were also discovered.
The court heard that MacMaster no longer had care of the children.