A pregnant woman from Birmingham abandoned her six children and went on a six-week sunshine holiday in Australia with a boyfriend she met online.
The 43-year-old mum told her children she was going to the supermarket but instead went to Birmingham Airport to catch the 2 January flight.
Birmingham Crown Court heard how she effectively left her 14-year-old son in charge of his siblings, including the youngest aged three.
The BBC reports that the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to six counts of wilful abandonment.
Police were alerted after her teenage son called his grandparents.
Judge Murray Creed sentenced her to a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and said it was a "serious matter" but that her children had been brought up in a "satisfactory and supportive way."
Her flight was paid for by the man she met on the internet.
The court heard how the single mum ignored messages from her parents and police, deactivated her social media accounts and refused to fly home until her scheduled return six weeks later.
According to The Guardian, Judge Creed said: "You've cared for them against a difficult background", he said. "You didn't appreciate you'd done anything wrong and were not prepared to return."
The woman was arrested when she returned to the UK in February. The children are now living with their grandparents, who do not live in Birmingham, and their mother is pregnant with her seventh child.
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