Drinking father left boy, 3, alone to wander.
A toddler was found wandering in a busy high street while his father was drinking in a local pub, a court heard yesterday. The three-year-old disappeared after his father left him alone at their South Wales home to buy milk.
When the father returned to find his son was gone, he made a brief search in the local area before going for a drink to help him decide what to do next, Caerphilly Magistrates Court was told.
The young boy was later found by police distressed, upset and walking alone near heavy traffic.
On another occasion, a neighbour, hearing a child crying in a very distressed manner, went to the house and found the boy was locked in, alone.
The police were called and opened the door moments before the child's father returned from his parents' house nearby.
He was 'heavily intoxicated', said prosecutor David Watts.
The court heard that social services had concerns about the child's mother who has six children, none of whom are currently living in her care.
She has now been voluntarily sterilised.
It was agreed that the child could remain with the couple if the father remained the main carer.
But she was left alone with him, the court heard, and on one occasion left him distressed and wearing a soiled nappy while she drank heavily with a friend.
Police were called to the family's house after the mother and her friend began arguing.
When they arrived they found the mother was very drunk and that the little boy's nappy was so wet it was sagging round his knees.
The living room, the court was told, was littered with empty beer cans, cigarette ends and soiled nappies.
The mother admitted one count of child neglect and the father pleaded guilty to two counts.
But both parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, walked free from court yesterday after magistrates imposed Community Rehabilitation Orders of two-and-a-half years each.
Llyr Williams, defending, said that the mother 'has found it difficult to cope with children in the past' and when left alone with the child 'she wasn't really capable of caring for him'.
The father, said Mr Williams, 'is a caring and loving father with nothing but the child's best interests at heart'.
He said the couple had battled with drink problems and found that once they had one drink they had to have many more.
Together, they wanted to give up alcohol and work toward 'the ultimate goal of having the child return to live with them'.