Fined for leaving children at home alone

A woman who left three of her children home alone for at least 70 minutes while she took a sick daughter to a pharmacy, was convicted at Dundalk district court following a Cruelty to Children prosecution.

A woman who left three of her children home alone for at least 70 minutes while she took a sick daughter to a pharmacy, was convicted at Dundalk district court following a Cruelty to Children prosecution.

The court previously heard the 46 year old had left a 10 year old in charge, rather than bring all four children with her to buy honey.

The original hearing in October was told that a garda who called to the woman’s home, in relation to an immigration matter had discovered the children inside on the 6th of August 2011.

One of them came to a bathroom window and closed it – and the gardai remained outside waiting on the defendant for 70 minutes.

She told them she had gone out to get honey because her daughter was sick.

The Defence solicitor said that all of the children, who were then aged 3, 5 and 10, were in good order and there was NO concern for their well-being and argued the only issue was his client wasn’t there and had left the children in the care of a 10 year old, as she did not have access to neighbours, friends or anybody else, to mind the children on the date in question. The case was adjourned until last Wednesday so a probation report could be prepared.

The Defence solicitor told the court that his client’s circumstances have changed dramatically since. He said the children are now being well looked after through the care of the HSE and the defendant has access to them. The solicitor added that the accused ‘just wasn’t able to cope as things went on’.

The court heard she had previously been prosecuted for leaving the children home alone. After reading the Probation report, Judge Flann Brennan said he would impose fines of €100 for each of the three offences.