Dad sentenced for ‘abandoning’ children

A FATHER who left his two children, aged three and seven years, alone at home was given a four-month suspended jail sentence at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

The 47-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children, admitted two charges of wilfully abandoning the children between December 16 and 19 last year.

A PPS lawyer explained that the offences came to light when the defendant was found by police drunk in Rainey Street car park on the night of December 18.

She said police spotted the man urinating in the car park and on taking him home discovered the children who had been alone for two hours.

A defence barrister said the defendant had consumed considerable alcohol including a bottle of brandy and was so intoxicated he was unaware that he had control of the children.

He said as a result the child protection services had put in place safeguards for the children.

The man was given a one-month concurrent term for indecent behaviour, suspended for 18 months.