An Ilkeston mother got a court warning after a toddler was left in ‘considerable pain’ by a mystery burn on one of its thighs.
She claimed it was caused when ‘hot noodles’ were passed to the two-year-old but this was rejected by a child health specialist.
A 15-month community order was imposed on the mother, who admitted child cruelty when she appeared at Derby Crown Court.
Recorder Andrew Eastall told her: “Go and prove you can be a good and proper mother to your children.
“This is your one and only opportunity. My priority is not your interests.
“The recommendation of the pre-sentence report and the priorities of that are the interests of your children above you or anything else.
“You have been convicted of child cruelty and rightly so.
“The lawyers will never know for sure how that burn was caused.
“It was a nasty and severe burn which would have left him in considerable pain.”
He said the mother, who is in her 20s, might have invented the noodle excuse because she felt ‘ashamed and frightened’.
Stuart Newsam, mitigating, told the court: “She has a great deal of support she didn’t have before and is benefiting.
“She is seeking to do her best to improve her parenting skills.”
Sarah Slater, prosecuting, said the burn was less than a centimetre long and the child was ‘in a great deal of pain’ in July last year.
A specialist rejected the claim it was caused by hot food but also said it was not a cigarette burn.
The mother was arrested in October last year and accepted she had not taken the child for medical attention, added Miss Slater.