Granny left kids in car to play pokies

A WOMAN had left her two grandchildren aged just three and one in her car while she played the pokies in the pub across the street, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.

Police were called when witnesses heard and saw the two children screaming in the car parked near shops in Nanango on June 10.

Officers who searched nearby stores for the car's driver eventually found the 58-year-old woman at the Fitzroy Hotel across the road, police prosecutor Senior Constable Des Neijens told the court.

The woman, who is not named so as to protect the identity of the children, pleaded guilty to two counts of leaving a child under 12 for an unreasonable time without making provision for supervision and care for the child.

Her solicitor Chris Lumme told the court his client had the full-time care of her three grandchildren.

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She had left the two children in the car while she went to buy food but found she needed to use the toilet and the closest facility was in the pub across the road, he said.

She passed the poker machines en route to the toilet and decided to put in $1 which had returned a series of "free spins".

While police alleged she had left the children unattended for up to 30 minutes, his client claimed she had been away from the car about five minutes, he said.

Mr Lumme asked that the convictions not be recorded as that could affect his client's Blue Card status.

Magistrate Bruce Schemioneck acceded to the request and ordered the convictions not be recorded, but told the woman her offence was serious.

"Do not ever leave those children again," he warned.

Mr Schemioneck placed the woman on 12 months probation.



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