13 Jun 2014

Judge slams woman over drunk boy

7:53 pm on 13 June 2014

A woman found guilty of giving a nine-year-old boy alcohol has been fined $1000.

Judge David Ruth fined Lucy Snowden, 25, $1000 when she appeared in the Hamilton District Court for sentence on Friday after a one-day trial on Thursday.

He pulled no punches when he told Snowdon he rejected out-of-hand her evidence that she had not given the boy alcohol.

"You let this boy down. You might not have known who he was but it must have been patently obvious that he was a young child."

Judge Ruth said he did not know what the long-term effects on the boy would be, and that the boy could have died that day from alcohol poisoning.

"I don't know whether he will go on to suffer from alcohol addiction or any of those things that a young boy starting out with alcohol at this stage might do.

"I don't pluck that out of the air, the sort of alcohol you were giving him really had that potential and I am satisfied as to the way he presented to his mother and others that indeed this was a serious matter."

Judge Ruth also ripped into Snowden for telling the police at the time that the boy had been given a box of bourbon and cola cans by his mother, so there was no need for her to supply him with alcohol.

He said it was an untrue statement which was just beyond belief, and was a significant factor in him finding her guilty.

Judge Ruth was also unimpressed with her claim a 13-year-old girl who was with the boy had stolen the alcohol and given it to him.

There was some suggestion at the trial that giving the boy alcohol was some sort of gang initiation, he said.

"If it is accurate then you should be the more ashamed."

Judge Ruth said he did not know if this was accurate but that if it was, Snowden should be even more ashamed of herself.

He found the boy's evidence credible and was impressed with the 13-year-old girl's evidence, saying she was the only sober one at the park that day.

However, Judge Ruth was critical that the boy was allowed to spent hours at the park on his own on his birthday.

"Why he was alone at a skatepark without adult supervision just beggars belief," he said.

He told Snowdon that she was not the only adult that had let the boy down on that day but that she had let him down badly.

Snowdon was visibly upset and rushed from the court but soon after was seen laughing with friends.

She refused to make any comment to waiting media.