Fears over toddler left in hot car in West Cumbrian supermarket car park

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Tesco Whitehaven Photo: Google Street View
Tesco Whitehaven Photo: Google Street View
7 June 2017 10:32PM

A woman who spotted a tot left in a car in the blazing hot sun has said she was branded a busybody for trying to help.

Dorothy Martin said she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the toddler sleeping alone in the car, parked outside Whitehaven's Tesco store.

The 60-year-old reported the child to Tesco staff – but said the mother involved had hurled a torrent of abuse at her for getting involved.

Dorothy said: “I was shocked. The little lad was asleep through the whole incident. What if the child was locked in the car? He wasn’t even strapped in.

“The sun was shining on his little face. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

"Anybody could have taken that child out or driven that car away.”

Dorothy said another witness reached in through the car’s open window to push the car’s sun visor down to stop the sun beating down on the tot.

When the mum reappeared, Dorothy said she confronted her about the dangers of leaving a child unaccompanied.

The mother of the child claimed she had only left the tot in the car for nine minutes – not longer as the witnesses claimed.

The pensioner said: “I told her that she shouldn’t have a child if she looks after them like that.

“Then she started shouting at me and she was very irate.

“I think it was embarrassment. She called me a busybody but I’ve got broad shoulders.”

The mum of the tot pictured confirmed she left the child in the car unaccompanied while she went into Tesco.

She said: “It wasn’t really anything that happened. The windows were down, the child was strapped in and I was less than five minutes while I popped into the shop.

“The lies some people are coming out with – I don’t get it.''

However later on the mum claimed that the length of time she left the tot was around nine minutes.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Our customer service colleague acted immediately.

“They walked over to the car owner, having identified her in our store, to notify her and ensure the situation was resolved.”

A Cumbria Police spokesman said: “Cumbria Constabulary have received a report of concern for the welfare of a child in a car from a member of the public.

“The child is alleged to have been in the car unaccompanied on May 31 in the car park of the Tesco store on Bransty Row, Whitehaven. Enquires are at an early stage.”

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