A Whanganui mother who allegedly left her 1-year-old child locked in a car in a public place overnight appeared in court yesterday to plead guilty to selling cannabis and driving while suspended.

The woman has not yet entered a plea to leaving the child in the car, and has denied further charges of leaving a child under 14 without reasonable supervision, and supplying meth.

Judge David Cameron granted the 30-year-old interim name suppression until her next appearance on February 9.

Defence lawyer Peter Brosnahan said he had only just been assigned to the case, and needed to look into what effect publicity would have on the woman and her 7-year-old child, who attends a Whanganui school.


Mr Brosnahan said the woman was in protective custody in Arohata Prison after other inmates found out about her charges.

"She's considered to be at risk," he said.

For the earlier charge, it is alleged the woman was found beside a locked car, intoxicated on Boxing Day. Police took her away to prevent her driving, but it is claimed she did not tell them the baby was in the vehicle. It is understood the child was not harmed by the alleged incident.

A charging document stated the woman failed to provide the necessities of life by leaving the child "in a vehicle untended overnight in a public place" and said this was a major departure from the standard of care expected of a reasonable person.

While on bail for that charge, she is alleged to have committed the further crimes, including supplying cannabis and driving while suspended, both of which she has pleaded guilty to.

Mr Brosnahan said potential bail addresses would be looked at while the woman is on remand.