While their three young children were at home in squalor, two parents were stealing air conditioners from the dump to make a quick buck, a court heard.
While their three young children were at home in squalor, two parents were stealing air conditioners from the dump to make a quick buck, a court heard.

Thief parents ‘lock kids in with rotten food, dirty nappies’

WHILE their three young children were at home in squalor, two Railway Estate parents were stealing air conditioners from the dump to make a quick buck.

Police allege the three children - aged one, eight and 10 - were allegedly left in a locked house with rotting food and dirty nappies on the floor while their mother, 29, and father, 32, allegedly stole eight air conditioners for scrap metal and copper, Townsville Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

The two were charged on January 4 with a string of offences, including six counts each of leaving a child unattended.

The father was also charged with aggravated supply of a dangerous drug to a minor under 16 years.

They both applied for bail when they appeared in court on Monday and the mother said she was "distressed" to be away from her children.

Merinda Greenwood from Rennick Lawyers, for the mother, said her client did not realise leaving her children alone was a serious offence or that raiding the dump was considered stealing.

"She was under the impression that it being the dump, the property was essentially up for grabs," Ms Greenwood said.

Magistrate Howard Osborne said police allegedly found a large quantity of uncapped syringes and drug utensils within easy reach of the children at the home.

"Police located the children in an unsuitable environment … children did not have any access to phones … if there was an emergency, they were also told to lock themselves inside the dwelling," Mr Osborne said.

Both were denied bail.

The case will appear again on January 28.


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