Three young sisters found home alone on Christmas Eve... so police have whip-round to buy them presents and a tree.
By James Tozer
Last updated at 9:10 AM on 31st December 2008
Police staff and officers clubbed together to buy the girls Christmas presents
Three young girls were found home alone and apparently abandoned on Christmas Eve, it emerged yesterday. The youngsters had been left with no presents to open and no tree to cheer them up.
While police officers tracked down and arrested their mother on suspicion of neglect, their colleagues organised a whip-round and dashed to the shops before they closed for Christmas to buy some last minute gifts for the girls.
The incident happened in Gorton – the tough district of South Manchester which originally formed the backdrop of the Channel 4 comedy series Shameless.
Yesterday, after the sisters – all aged under ten – were placed into care, the police support staff spoke of their heartbreak at learning the girls had faced missing out on Christmas.
After a call was made about the trio's welfare, police officers were sent round to the house and found them by themselves with no one apparently looking after them, no Christmas tree and no presents.
With just hours to go before the shops shut, call handling staff clubbed together to try and ensure they didn't face a totally miserable Christmas Day.
Pam Wild, 50, said: 'I just couldn't bear the thought of the children waking up on Christmas morning with no presents, so me and some of the girls had a whip-round and got them some gifts.'
Officers also donated money and a member of staff dashed to a nearby supermarket to buy clothes and toys for the girls.
Mrs Wild wrapped the presents when she got home from work and they were delivered to the sisters on Christmas Day, by which time they had been placed into care.
'It was just something that anybody would have done,' she said. 'I love children and it wasn't their fault that they didn't get any presents.
'It was amazing to see that everyone had been so generous.
'I know this happens to thousands of people each year but I just couldn't wake up on Christmas Day knowing that these girls weren't going to get anything.'
Her boss, Andrew Massey, said: 'Our staff have gone out of their way to try and make it feel like Christmas for some children and it is nice to see this kind of spirit still exists in this time.'
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: 'Police were called to an address in Gorton on Christmas Eve following concerns for three children. 'A 29-year-old woman who was arrested for neglect has been bailed until February 11.'
The case recalls the plot of the film Home Alone in which an eight-year-old boy, played by Macaulay Culkin, is accidentally left behind when his family fly out for a Christmas holiday.
He ends up fending for himself and fighting off burglars.
Discussions at the 3 arguidos:
Home Alone - at Christmas
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