UNNAMED DAD. Notice that the police label the relationship "tempestuous" when the only party who was injured is Mom. The wording is biased. It suggests mutual violence, when the actual evidence doesn't support that.
Children left alone in hot unit, court told
BY LOUIS ANDREWS COURT REPORTER
21 Jan, 2012 01:00 AM
Police say two children allegedly left alone inside a Canberra unit on a sweltering day this week were ''screaming hysterically'' when officers arrived at the scene.
As temperatures in the capital pushed above 30 degrees on Thursday, the three-year-old girl and her infant brother were allegedly left in the north Canberra unit when their father went to the shops.
The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with two counts of child neglect and faced the ACT Magistrates Court yesterday.
The 44-year-old, who has also been charged with common assault, is further accused of slapping the children's mother in the face, splitting her lip and drawing blood.
The foreign national was yesterday released on bail after Magistrate Peter Dingwall was satisfied tough bail conditions could prevent him from allegedly reoffending.
The family came to police attention on Thursday when the children's mother arrived at Gungahlin station and reported the assault.
According to a statement of facts, the pair's relationship was ''a tempestuous one, characterised by frequent arguments about money''.
Later that afternoon police went to the couple's unit and found the door locked.
They then saw a three-year-old girl running up to the front door, according to the police document.
''She was hysterically crying, yelling, 'Mummy!' several times while trying to turn [the] door knob of the front door,'' the document stated. Police broke into the unit through a window at the opposite end of the house, in a bid not to harm the child. But the girl allegedly came running through the broken window glass to get to the officers, who later picked small shards of glass out of her hair.
The officers then found the nine-month-old boy in a cot in one of the bedrooms, allegedly ''screaming hysterically, hot to the touch and soaked in sweat''.
The girl was also allegedly distressed by the heat, which police said felt hotter than 30 degrees in the poorly ventilated, un-air-conditioned home.
The mother returned to the home to take care of her children, but it was allegedly several hours before the father returned to the home.
Constable Rebecca Williams told the court the defendant later demonstrated no remorse for the alleged assault or leaving his children at home.Constable Williams also said the father indicated it was not the first time the pair had argued violently, and not the first time he left the children alone.
But the court heard the man had no previous convictions, and Mr Dingwall said while the allegations were relatively serious, strict bail could reduce the risk of reoffending.
He has been banned from approaching within 100m of his wife, their home or - unless supervised and approved by authorities - his children.
The man was ordered to surrender any passport in his name and forbidden to leave the territory.