UNATTENDED: A mother and father have been fined after leaving their young children to see a puppy and go to the shops.
UNATTENDED: A mother and father have been fined after leaving their young children to see a puppy and go to the shops. michellegibson

Parents left kids home alone to see a puppy, go to shops

A MOTHER and father have been collectively fined $1500 for leaving their two and four year old children home alone to go shopping.

The parents appeared separately in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Friday, and pleaded guilty to leaving a child under 12 unattended.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess said on November 21 at 12.53pm, a shopper had spotted two very young children at a supermarket in Branyan.

The children said they had "lost mum".

There was about an hour between when the children were left by their parents, until police located them.

Officers found the family home unlocked, with the parents' mobile phones charging on the kitchen bench.

When the pair returned home to find their children and police in the home, they could not give a reason as to why one of them didn't stay at home with the kids.

But the woman told police her partner had been drinking so she needed to drive.

It was heard the pair had visited a relative about a puppy they wanted to buy, before going to Woolworths.

Defence lawyer Gavin James said the reason the parents left the kids at home, was because they were asleep, but maintained his client, the woman, was remorseful.

He said the family had moved from Cairns to Townsville and now Bundaberg, and had no family support system.

"She believed by the time she came home, the kids would be awake," Mr James said. He said it wasn't as if the parents were out at the Central drinking and playing pool.

But Magistrate Neil Lavaring smacked the defence down, saying the puppy was not an "urgent" matter for the parents.

"The other relevant factor is the kids, they weren't just under 12, they are four and two," Magistrate Lavaring said.

He told the father he should "know better as the head of the house".

The woman was convicted and fined $600, with the man fined $900 due to a longer criminal history.



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