Mother leaves toddler home alone, goes on drunken spree
A YOUNG mother was admonished by a magistrate for her "grossly negligent behaviour" after she left her toddler at home alone overnight while she went on a drunken spree slashing the tyres and smashing windows of two parked vehicles.
The 25-year-old Gladstone woman was angry after a break-up with her partner, and used bricks to attack his parked vehicle and apparently that of a friend.
The mother, who can't be named to protect her child, pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to leaving a child without supervision overnight on July 7 between 10pm and 4am, and two counts of wilful damage to a Toyota four-wheel-drive and a car.
Magistrate Penelope Hay said being drunk was no excuse, nor was her being upset over the death of a family member at the time.
The child likened the danger to that of a famous case of a British child taken from a Portugal holiday apartment.
"A child is a number one priority. You placed your child at serious risk," Ms Hay said.
"Children can be abducted. The parents of Madeleine McCann left her asleep in a locked apartment. She has never been found.
"A fit of jealous rage is what you did. You disturbed residents of the street for hours when you carried on."
Prosecutor Snr Const Sam Pyke said neighbours called police about a car seen driving down the street and its female driver throwing objects at two parked vehicles.
The car had gone but officers saw pieces of broken brick on the road with witnesses saying the car had driven up and down the street a number of times.
A fit of jealous rage is what you did. You disturbed residents of the street for hours when you carried on
Police were called back to the street later that night after the woman was again seen by residents throwing objects from her car at the Toyota which now had a smashed window.
She was also seen to get out and slash the tyres before driving off.
Snr Const Pyke said the Toyota's mirrors were broken, a front tyre slashed and there were pieces of broken brick on the road.
Another car's tyre was also slashed and residue left on a window after it had been struck by something.
The woman's car was stopped in a nearby street and officers found rocks and a Stanley knife inside.
"She said she had broken up with her boyfriend because he cheated on her, and had gone out with a girlfriend and became upset," Snr Const Pyke said.
"She became upset and argumentative and said she couldn't go back to the police station because her child was at home alone and asleep."
He said police received a statement from the woman admitting her actions and expressing remorse, and recognising the gravity of her actions.
Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said his client would pay compensation for damages of $1627.
"It was a cry of desperation. She had drinks with a friend and saw the two vehicles at her ex-partner's and out of spite she did this," Mr Pepito said.
Ms Hay ordered that the woman receive counselling as part of a 12-month probation order and pay damages.