Garthamlock childminder put children in car boot

Hannah Chibanga'. Picture: submitted

Hannah Chibanga'. Picture: submitted

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A CHILDMINDER who allowed children to travel in her car boot and lied to inspectors about how many she was looking after is to be struck off.

Hannah Chibanga was caught breaching the terms of her registration with the Care Inspectorate when an inspector arrived at her home in Garthamlock, Glasgow, for an unannounced visit.

They found nine children in her care – despite her claiming she had only eight – and found she left them unsupervised for lengthy periods during the visit.

She had no stair gate installed in her house, which was messy, with “grubby towels” and smelled of urine. Mrs Chibanga on one occasion allowed ­children to sit in the open boot area of her Mercedes Benz hatchback car.

Legal action was raised against the mother-of-five and following a civil hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court, her registration was cancelled by Sheriff Stuart Reid.

In a written judgment, Sheriff Reid said: “Unless registration is cancelled, there will be an ongoing risk to the health and well-being of children in her care, given Mrs Chibanga’s fundamental lack of appreciation of the significance of the obligations on her.”

When an inspector, Elizabeth Keenan, turned up at her house in August 2013, Mrs Chibanga initially denied her access, claiming she had to lie down after using eye drops.

She eventually allowed Ms Keenan inside but alleged she only had eight children in the house and was expecting another later that day.

The rules state she should have no more than six under 16 year-olds in the house, including her own children.

It later emerged, from speaking to the other children, that there was another child upstairs.

Mrs Keenan described the house as “untidy, cluttered and strewn with hazards”.

She said there was a strong smell of urine from the downstairs toilet, where there were “dirty hand towels”.

Mrs Chibanga also allowed two young children to stay overnight the day before the visit, which goes against the rules.

Concern was also raised at the “suitability” of a wrestling video that was being watched by some of the children on the day of the inspection.

Mrs Keenan told the court that Mrs Chibanga left the children on their own and she took the view that the children, on occasions, were in danger.

A one-year-old girl had to be taken off of the stairs by Mrs Keenan as she repeatedly tried to climb the unguarded steps.

A second inspector, Annemarie McGinn, was at another unannounced inspection days later. She saw a one-year-old child sleeping upstairs on a bare mattress and that there was still no gate on the stairs. She claimed the bedroom was “very cluttered” with duvets, mattresses and pillows strewn around.

Mrs Chibanga said that on one occasion her own children sat in the car boot unrestrained. She said it was to recreate the “fun” she felt as a child growing up in Zambia when her father would drive her to school in the back of an open Land Rover.

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