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DON'T TAKE AWAY MY PRECIOUS ROXANNE; Addict mum's plea over fall girl.

Byline: ANNA SMITH EXCLUSIVE

A LITTLE girl plunged 50ft from a sixth-floor veranda after her heroin addict mum locked her in the house.

Roxanne Malaven, five, survived the fall as she hit the muddy grass below.

And yesterday, as she recovered from a fractured pelvis in hospital, her mum spoke of her fears that social workers will take her child away.

Isabella, 35, a heroin addict for more than 12 years, told the Record: "If I lose my wee girl, my life will not be worth living. I am trying my best on a methadone programme and want to put drugs behind me for the sake of Roxanne."

Isabella told how she had left her council flat in Glasgow's Maryhill early on Saturday to buy food for breakfast.

She claimed Roxanne was asleep in bed and her great-grandmother, Grace Malaven, who Isabella looks after, was also asleep in the home.

Isabella said she locked the door to keep them safe but, when she returned, she could see the flashing lights of the ambulance outside her home.

She said: "I nearly died when I came towards the house and saw all the commotion. Someone told me that Roxanne had fallen from the veranda and I rushed to see her in the ambulance.

"It was awful. She was conscious and just calling out, 'Mum,' all the time. She was in a lot of pain."

Since the accident, Isabella has been at Roxanne's bedside in Glasgow's Yorkhill Hospital.

But she is worried that social workers concerned for Roxanne will not let the girl come back home to her when she recovers.

She said: "I have been on heroin for years, but in the last few weeks the doctor has put me on methadone and I have been doing quite well.

"I look after my grandmother as well as Roxanne and I am determined to get off drugs. I just don't want to lose my wee girl."

Almost all of Isabella's family have been caught up in the drugs scourge sweeping Scotland.

Four out of five of them are drug addicts, and their heartbroken mother, also Isabella, has had to look after their children as their lives have crumbled around them.

Grandmother Isabella said: "We have watched four out of five of our children's lives ruined by drugs.

"As they grow older, we just dread that they could be dead in another year."

Strathclyde Police said a report over the accident was being sent to the fiscal and the Children's Panel.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 22, 2001
Words:417
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