A three-month-old baby was found gasping for breath after her alcoholic babysitter got drunk and fell asleep on top of her.
A court heard the infant’s life may have been saved thanks to the actions of a shopkeeper who went into Najma Kosar’s home and prevented a tragedy.
Kosar, 41, had drunk the equivalent of almost three times the drink drive limit when she was in charge of the baby and her toddler brother.
Heather Gilmour, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court the children’s mother approached Kosar as she was known for babysitting children.
Kosar agreed to look after them at her home on Bexley Terrace, Harehills, on January 17 last year while the mother went to work.
Miss Gilmour said local shopkeeper Vishamth Pravakar became aware that she had been drinking while looking after children.
She said: “She was known to have a drinking problem. He closed his shop and went to the house.” Mr Pravakar went into the property and found Kosar asleep in bed upstairs.
The prosecutor continued: “He went upstairs and the defendant was lying in bed with her arms and head pressing down on something which he thought was a pillow before it became apparent it was the child.”
Mr Pravakar later told police he believed the baby would have suffocated had he not intervened, as she was gasping for breath.
Police were contacted and Kosar couldn’t stand or talk properly when they arrived. The youngsters were taken to hospital but had not suffered any injuries.
Kosar was taken to Stainbeck police station where she was examined by a doctor and found to be almost three times the drink drive limit.
She told officers she had drunk four cans of Carlsberg Special Brew in the morning at 8.30am, but stopped when the children arrived at the property.
Kosar pleaded guilty to two offences of child neglect.
David Orbaum, mitigating, said Kosar had spent four weeks in custody over the Christmas period after failing to turn up to probation service appointments. He added: “There clearly is a substantial drink problem at the root of this case.”
The court heard Kosar refused to accept the extent of her drinking problem.
Recorder Robert Spragg made Kosar the subject of a 12-month community order. He said: “You should be extremely grateful that this man arrived.”