20 May 2010

Mother in court accused of leaving baby to party

7:16 pm on 20 May 2010

A woman has been accused of leaving her three-week-old baby in a car for five hours while she was drinking at a party.

The 26-year-old was charged with two counts of abandoning a child under six years, after the incident in Wiri in South Auckland on Wednesday.

Police say they were called at just after 8pm by a woman who had found the infant sleeping in an unlocked vehicle. They say they found the child's mother drunkenly staggering down the street after attending a party nearby.

Another child of hers, a five-year-old boy, was found asleep in a bedroom at the house where the party was taking place. Police say the mother had no idea where the boy was.

In the Manukau District Court on Thursday the woman was granted interim name suppression and remanded on bail without plea. She is due to reappear again next month.

The children spent the night in foster care and Child, Youth and Family (CYF) staff are now assessing their future care.

CYF says the case is deeply disappointing, as leaving a baby alone in a car at any time is unacceptable. It will do a full review of what happened.