Mum left kids at home to feed homeless ex-husband
A TOOWOOMBA woman who left three of her children at home alone while she took food to her homeless ex-husband has fronted the city's court.
Police officers who had gone to the family's Kearney's Spring home about 11.20am on Sunday, February 28, on another matter had knocked on the door which was answered by three young children.
Asked where their parents were, the children - aged 10, nine and seven - told police their parents were not home and that their father had moved out and was living elsewhere, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Alistair Windsor told the court, of some concern was that the officers were plain clothes officers who were freely let into the residence by the children.
A search of the home by police had found no-one there supervising the children, he said.
About 15 minutes later, the children's mother arrived home with two younger children in the car with her.
She told the officers she had only gone to the shops around the corner.
However, duty solicitor Nathan Edridge told the court his client instructed that she had actually gone to take food to her ex-partner who was living on the streets.
His client said she didn't want the older children to see what was happening and had acted out of protection for them, he said.
The sole parent pensioner was a loving and devoted mother but she accepted she had left the three children at home on this occasion which was something she wouldn't readily do, he submitted.
The woman, 31, who is not named to protect the identity of the children, pleaded guilty to three counts of leaving a child under 12 for an unreasonable time without supervision.
Magistrate Graham Lee said he accepted the defendant had gone through a difficult relationship break-up but that the matter was serious.
He fined the woman $600.