No conviction for gambling mum
A woman who left her five children locked in a van in SkyCity's basement car park while she and her partner gambled has been discharged without conviction.
The woman and her partner appeared at the Auckland District Court today where she was discharged and her partner was convicted and discharged and ordered to pay court costs of $132.89.
The man, 30, and the woman, 28, pleaded guilty to charges of leaving a child under the age of 14 without adequate supervision. They cannot be named in order to protect the identities of their children.
The children, whose ages ranged from five months to nine years old, were found alone in the casino's car park around 11am on February 26. They had been locked in the van for about 45 minutes.
A member of the public spotted the crying children and alerted SkyCity authorities. The parents were found gambling upstairs in the casino.
Authorities were notified immediately afterward and the children were placed in the care of Child Youth and Family (CYF). At the time, the family were already known to CYF.
When the couple entered their guilty pleas in August, the court heard both had enrolled themselves in programmes.
The father had self-referred himself to Friendship House where he was doing a stopping violence programme, and had taken part in problem gambling counselling sessions.
In February, SkyCity said about 1.76 million vehicles had parked in the underground car park in the past year and staff had uncovered seven incidents of children being left in cars.
- © Fairfax NZ News