The Courier-Mail

Former cop in bar as toddler in car

- MELANIE WHITING

A FORMER Mackay police officer has faced court after his twoyear-old child was left unattended in a car while he was drinking and gambling inside a CBD hotel.

Mackay Magistrate­s Court heard the manager of the Boomerang Hotel called police on Boxing Day 2020 after the child was found alone inside an unlocked Toyota LandCruise­r with the motor running in the carpark of the hotel. When police arrived, they found a two-year-old girl asleep in a child seat in the back of the ute, with no one else around.

Prosecutor Rob Beamish said the child’s father appeared soon after, telling police the car had been under constant watch by his partner.

“Police viewed CCTV footage, which depicted (the father) at the bar drinking and gambling,” Mr Beamish said.

“At 3.36pm, (the man’s partner) entered the bar entrance with their four-year-old boy, (she) was greeted … and they both stayed inside the hotel without going to check outside on the two-yearold,” he said.

Mr Beamish said the man’s partner left the bar at 3.50pm.

He said the child was left in the car alone for 14 minutes. The couple were both charged with leaving a child under 12 unattended.

Acting Magistrate John Aberdeen fined them both $500 with no conviction recorded.

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