Parents fined for lack of care of their seven-year-old son
THE parents of a seven-year-old Mackay boy have been taken to task and fined $1500 after letting their son roam unsupervised around the suburbs on his scooter.
When police arrived at the family home at night to tell the parents they had the child, the couple had eaten dinner and were quite unconcerned about their "missing" youngster despite not knowing his exact whereabouts.
His father told Mackay Magistrates Court the boy just liked to explore.
The parents pleaded guilty to not taking lawful care of a child under 12 and were fined $750 each.
The father, 33, told the court his son often went out riding to "explore" Mackay.
Their son had been absent from his home for many hours on November 23 when another Mackay father, out spending time with his children, called police to a park in Andergrove just before 7pm.
The little boy had joined in playing with the man's children late that afternoon but as the evening advanced the man became worried about the welfare of the boy.
He called police after the boy told him that he did not wish to go home.
Prosecutor Constable Duncan Erskine said police went to the family home 3km away about 7.30pm and the boy's father told officers his son left the house earlier that afternoon to ride his scooter to a skate park.
"His father had taken a cold and flu tablet about 3pm that made him groggy. His son was not home at 6pm when his wife woke him to say dinner was ready," Const Erskine said.
He said the mother was of the opinion her son had ridden to a friend's house but she had not made any inquiries or phone calls about his whereabouts.
The father explained to Magistrate Ross Risson that his son did like to go out riding.
"He's usually going out riding on his bike, usually home by dark," he said.
"He's usually pretty good getting home most occasions by dark. I've not known him to go that far.
"He's getting older, starting to explore the town."
Magistrate Risson told the couple their son still had along way to go (under parental supervision) because the charge related to a child aged under 12.
He fined the couple but did not record convictions.