Mother who left son home alone is hospitalised


A mother who left her 12-year-old son home alone for almost two weeks was released by police in London yesterday and spent last night in a mental hospital.

Mrs Jill Parker (53), who was released on bail from Battersea Police Station in London to return on January 15th, was believed to have undergone medical assessments at the police station.

Officers refused to reveal if she had been released to seek medical help, or if, or when, she would be reunited with her 12-year-old son, Rufus Polak, who fended for himself for more than two weeks at the family home in Battersea and who went to school as normal after his mother went missing. The youngster fed and clothed himself, even telling a schoolfriend who visited the home that his mother was upstairs to avoid arousing suspicion.

Social services were alerted after the police were contacted on Thursday by a concerned colleague of Ms Parker.

Flight ticket stubs and a hand-written note, written in red ink, were discovered in Ms Parker's room at the hotel where she was found and taken away by police.

A ticket stub for a British Airways flight from Madrid to London also discovered was an Easyjet ticket stub from London to Zurich on December 15th. Skiworld, independent ski operators, confirmed that a Ms Parker booked on December 13th, accommodation only, in Regina Chalet at the Austrian ski resort of St Anton.

Police have said Ms Parker has suffered from depression in the past although she is not thought to have disappeared before.

Her husband, James Polak, died of a heart attack three years ago and it is believed she becomes depressed at Christmas because of the memories.

A spokesman for Wandsworth Social Services said: "Following a medical examination at the police station, Mrs Parker is to receive voluntary in-patient treatment at hospital. "We will continue to make sure Rufus is well cared for while his mother remains in hospital." A spokesman for Springfield University Hospital, a psychiatric teaching hospital in Tooting, south London, confirmed Mrs Parker was a patient there.

He said: "We can confirm that she will be admitted this afternoon as a voluntary patient and she will undergo an assessment by one of our psychiatric teams."

Asked if her son Rufus would be able to visit her, he said: "That would be a matter for social services.

"If they feel it is appropriate they will talk to our medical team and there is no reason why there should not be a visit." - (PA)