Parents in court over kids in casino carpark

MICHELLE ROBINSON
Last updated 15:08 15/05/2012
Pokies
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax Media
IN COURT: A couple have been charged with leaving their children unattended in a van in the SkyCity car park.

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A couple charged with leaving their five children locked in a van while they gambled at SkyCity Casino have appeared in court.

The couple are jointly charged with leaving their children unattended after they were allegedly found alone in a van in the SkyCity car park midmorning on a Sunday in February.

The children, aged five months to eight years, were later placed in Child, Youth and Family care.

Their parents appeared in the Auckland District Court today and were remanded to reappear next month. Their names are suppressed.

They were seen rushing from the court separately, the woman donning a pair of dark sunglasses.

A CYF spokesperson said the children were "safe and well" when taken into care after the incident.

SkyCity said its surveillance footage indicated the children had been locked in the vehicle for about 45 minutes.

A couple returning to their car heard the children crying and notified SkyCity security staff.

Staff allegedly found the parents upstairs gambling in the casino and the family was taken to Auckland central police station.

Peter Treacy, SkyCity's general counsel, said while such incidents occasionally occur, they were rare.

He said SkyCity had strict procedures in place for such cases, which includes calling police immediately, advising the Department of Internal Affairs and issuing the parent or guardian with a trespass notice.

In the past year, 1.76 million vehicles have been parked in the car park and staff have uncovered seven incidents of children being left in cars in that time.

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