A MOTHER threw a drunken party in her sons' bedroom while her children slept on chairs in a lounge littered with beer cans.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded guilty to four charges of ill-treating or neglecting a child.
North Devon Magistrates' Court heard the woman's Bideford home was dirty and unhygienic.
Clothes were strewn on the floor and there was no food in the cupboards.
Ben Winzer, for the prosecution, said: "Police were called to the property around 4am on August 23.
"Officers entered through the back door and were greeted by two of the children in their pyjamas, who said 'Mummy's upstairs getting drunk with her friends'.
"There was no seat on the toilet and it had not been flushed for some time. The airing cupboard was overflowing with clothes, dirt and grime.
"In the front room the officers found two children asleep in chairs.
" The room was a complete mess."
Mr Winzer said there was noise coming from upstairs but no one responded when they shouted.
He said: "The officers entered one of the children's bedrooms and saw the mother who was smoking and was definitely drunk.
"She was in the company of two young men and two young women. One of the women was writhing around suggestively on a man's lap.
"The mother said she had consumed eight cans of lager but insisted she was not drunk.
"She asked officers: 'Can't I even have a party?'"
The court heard the children had been placed on the child protection register for neglect in 2007.
They had previously been fostered but then returned to their mother, although the situation had been under review by the local authority, which had concerns about the state of the home and lack of routine for the children.
Mr Winzer said: "This amounts to short term neglect but it is made more serious by the defendant's previous history."
Zara Svensson, for the defence, said the mother admitted struggling to care for the children and was under the care of a psychiatrist.
Miss Svensson said: "It was during the school summer holidays and she found it hard to cope. She agrees that on this particular day her actions amounted to criminal behaviour.
"She has overcome previous alcohol problems but was persuaded by friends on this occasion. The children are currently in the care of their father."
Magistrates ordered a full probation report and adjourned the case until October 15.
The mother was released on bail and instructed not to have any contact with her children except for arranged visits supervised by social services.
The woman cannot be named because of a court order to protect the identity of the children.