Parents of wandering tot face jail

TWO Rockhampton parents are facing up to three years in prison for leaving their four-year-old daughter unsupervised for five hours.

They will stand trial in Rockhampton District Court where a jury will decide if they left the toddler unsupervised for an “unreasonable” length of time.

The parents were charged two days before Christmas last year after it took police five hours to find them.

The toddler was found wandering a south Rockhampton street early on the morning of December 23.

Police started a hunt for the parents.

The tot wasn't distressed and could speak but wouldn't tell police her name.

Officers started a door-knock of the area and also launched a public appeal to find the parents.

After five hours they were located.

The mum and dad have been charged with one count of leaving a child under 12 unsupervised for an unreasonable period.

This week a Rockhampton Magistrate decided there was enough evidence against the couple for them to have a case to answer to.

The offence is part of new legislation that applies to children who are abandoned in public places, left in vehicles or left home alone for unreasonably long periods.

The maximum penalty is three years in prison.

The mum or dad haven't entered pleas to the charge and didn't give evidence during the committal hearing.

A friend of the parents told the court how he locked the back door of their home before going to bed the night before the girl went missing.



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