A BABYSITTER with a “pretty awful” criminal record was caught drunk while looking after a 13-month-old boy.
Darren Gillespie agreed to look after the toddler even though he had been drinking heavily on the day.
After pleading guilty to child neglect at Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday he said he was taking the drug Antabuse to combat his drinking and that his sister had been looking after the boy.
Gillespie, 31, said he reluctantly told the boy’s mum he would look after the child in Bathgate, West Lothian, despite being under the influence of alcohol.
Prosecutors told Gillespie that the court had rejected an offer for social workers to deal with the incident, which took place on January 11 this year.
Gillespie’s defence insisted he had been suffering from “considerable background circumstances” and was now involved with social workers.
Raymond MacMenamin asked for Gillespie to be released on standard bail conditions. He said: “It seems highly unlikely that this will be repeated.
“Mr Gillespie is working with the social work department on several aspects of the situation.”
Sheriff Martin Edington deferred sentence to await background reports.
He told Gillespie: “You must be very aware that if you misbehave in any shape or form you’ll virtually guarantee your remand in custody.”
Outside court, Gillespie insisted he had not drunk alcohol for a week.
He said: “I told the boy’s mum that I didn’t want to look after him because I’d been drinking but she was very insistent.
“My sister was in the house that night and she bathed him and put him to bed.”
Earlier this year, a former escort girl admitted neglecting a toddler by getting drunk and leaving him surrounded by razor blades, drugs and alcohol.
Nicola Brims was so drunk that passers-by who saw her staggering around with the child called the police because they were concerned for the boy’s safety.
When police arrived at her address in Lower Granton Road, they found the door lying open and Brims sleeping soundly, with the three-year-old left to watch a film on television within inches of open razor blades, prescription medication and open alcohol bottles.
In February, Brims was placed on a community payback order and told to do 100 hours’ unpaid work.