Trigger warning: contains details of child abuse that may be distressing to some.
Throughout her life, 13-year-old Robyn Goldie was neglected by her own mother, Sharon Goldie. Even the day she died, Robyn felt extremely sick and begged for help. But Sharon ignored her daughter’s pleas and rather than staying beside her, the mother went off to a pub, believing that her daughter pretending to be sick for attention.
Robyn was not always living in her mother’s care. At one point of time, the young girl was on the child protection register after her mother was found to be drunk while taking care of her. Later, Robyn went on to live with her grandmother after she turned four years old.
Until 2017, Robyn had a relatively stable life as she stayed with her grandmother. Then, she went back to stay with her mother in Wishaw, Lanarkshire in the UK, as reported by Mirror. Social workers kept monitoring the mother and daughter, however, Sharon refused to take up the recommendations by the workers.
“Goldie was offered – on various occasions – the opportunity to attend parenting classes. She declined to attend,” said Prosecutor Ashley Edwards QC.
Deprived of proper care, Robyn and Sharon reportedly argued with each other quite often, as the mother’s drinking always caused “friction” between them. Robyn was kept in a house smelled of cat urine and those who saw her described the girl was “thin, dirty and unkempt.”
There was times when Sharon would say that she no longer wanted to take care of Robyn. “Goldie asked for (Robyn) to be removed from her care,” Edwards said.
There was one particular bar called Melody Bar where Sharon would often go. And during some instances, Robyn would go there on an empty stomach, looking for her mother and asking people for money. “Robyn was often seen attending there looking for Goldie and asking for money to buy food,” Edwards said. “She also often approached a neighbour asking for £1 ($1.31) to get food. Robyn once said she had only had a yoghurt that day.”
“On an occasion (at the pub), Goldie was heard to say: ‘I am f***ing sick of her. I wish she would go back and stay with her gran,'” the prosecutor added.
Apart from neglecting her daughter and “constantly” insisting that Robyn was not wanted in Sharon’s house, the daughter even revealed to her friends that her mother would offer her cannabis and alcohol. It was also revealed in court that Robyn has caught her mother on camera, screaming at her, biting her, and even slapping her.
The young girl even got a rash, caused by fleas in March 2018, a few months before her death. About a week before Robyn passed away, she experienced a sore stomach and legs. Painkillers was all that she was given for it. On July 21, Sharon was back at the Melody Bar and she told the staff there that she made sure her daughter “could not get out” and “locked” her at home, as reported by BBC.
When Robyn spoke to a friend the next day, she said that she was feeling sick and had not eaten anything for days. A couple of days later, she sent a message to her grandmother saying that she was better but when one of Sharon’s friend met the little girl, the friend described the child as being “drained.”
“She’s just not well,” the friend told Sharon but the mother did not pay heed. On the night of July 24, Robyn begged her mother to get an ambulance as she was feeling pain all over her body but the mother still did not do anything about it.
Sharon’s friend even offered to take the girl to the hospital in a taxi but the mother disregarded it by saying it was her “attention-seeking” behavior and stopped the friend, as reported by the Daily Mail. Things seemed to be getting worse for Robyn, who begged a neighbor to call an ambulance the next day, complaining that she could not breathe. But the mother yelled at the daughter and ordered her to “get in.”
On the morning of July 26, Sharon sent a social worker away, saying that Robyn had been unwell for a few days. Later that day, Sharon went off to a pub with a friend. And when she came back, they found Robyn lying across a sofa and was completely unresponsive. Even then, Sharon did not seem to care.
“Goldie and the man got another drink from the fridge and went outside ‘because the weather was nice,'” Edwards said. It was only later when the friend took a proper look at Robyn when they realized that she had passed away. When the paramedics arrived, Sharon told them, “she’s at it” and that she was “faking it.”
When the paramedics confirmed to her that Robyn was dead, Sharon was said to have wailed and said, “No, she cannot be.”
As the police asked her questions, Sharon told them that she thought her daughter did not have anything serious. It was later found that the little girl died after suffering from an ulcer that burst in her stomach. If she had got the right treatment beforehand, a senior medic said she may have survived.
Following Robyn’s death, Sharon pleaded guilty to a charge under the Children and Young Persons Act for wilfully ill-treating and neglecting her daughter.