Dad fined over 'Home Alone' kids
A father locked his two young children in their Edinburgh house alone while he went to work during the Christmas holiday.
Worried police officers, who found the youngsters - aged three and six -
on their own, were forced to summon a joiner to break into the home.
Today, the 31-year-old father was fined 300 for neglecting the children on December 29.
Sheriff Douglas Allan told the senior IT development officer: "I cannot understand how you could decide that something at work was more important than the health and safety of your children.
"You locked in a three and six year old hoping they would not do anything or touch anything that could endanger their lives."
Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that two police constables went to the city house after receiving information and knocked on the door. A three-year-old tried to answer but was locked in. The officers spoke to the child through the letter box asking where his parents were. A six-year-old appeared saying they were both at work.
The constables contacted a joiner who forced the door open. The children were found to be alone, but uninjured.
Officers waited until 11.45 a.m. when the father returned home. He admitted that he had left at 9.30 that morning and locked the children in the house - saying it was for their own safety.
Defence agent Duncan Hughes said that the computer specialist had panicked about work required to be done at his office. He had intended to return quickly but the task had taken longer than anticipated.
Mr Hughes said the couple were from India where family and friends helped with child care and they had not yet adjusted to the more insular way of life in Scotland.
An investigation showed that the children were not at further risk and were otherwise well cared for.
"The couple, who are generally law abiding, have found this whole procedure extremely stressful and learned a lesson," Mr Hughes added.
The father pleaded guilty to the neglect and offered to pay his fine at 100 per month.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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