Meth addicted dad loses one-year-old son for nearly an hour
A METH addicted father has faced court on 12 charges, which included losing his one-year-old son for over an hour due to his inattention.
The 43-year-old Murgon man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced Murgon Magistrates Court on 12 charges, including possessing dangerous drugs, utensils, contravening police, and leaving a child under 12 unattended.
Police prosecutor sergeant Barry Stevens said a search warrant executed at the man's home on April 23 uncovered small amounts of meth, MDMA, and marijuana, along with a glass pipe.
The next set of charges stemmed from two random interceptions on July 19-20, where the defendant was found with marijuana, meth, glass pipes, and straws.
He was then charged with contravening police on two occasions when he failed to appear at the Murgon police station on July 27.
Sgt Stevens said the most serious charge occurred on July 30, when the man had lost his one-year-old for nearly an hour.
The court heard the defendant lives in Murgon bordering a large parkland behind his residence.
Court documents indicated around 1.30pm a witness observed the one-year-old wandering alone without an adult.
The witness asked the child where he lived, however he could not respond, with police called shortly afterwards.
"Police commenced a door knock in the area to try and locate the parents, which took 45 minutes, and still no report had come in," he said.
"Around 2pm police located the defendant walking on the rail trail with a woman who said they were looking for their son."
The court heard the man had been watching the child while he was in the shed, and his son had been playing with their puppy at the time.
The defendant told police when he turned his back, his son walked out onto the parkland with the puppy without him noticing.
"He assumed the child was inside, and upon returning inside after 10 minutes he realised the child was missing and commenced a search," Sgt Stevens said.
"Police know it was at least 45 minutes that the child was missing."
Defence lawyer Tom Carr said the defendant accepted the facts, and claimed he had an issue with dangerous drugs and would like to address them in probation.
In relation to the contravening police directions, Mr Carr told the court the man had actually attended the station, but found they had closed just before he arrived.
Mr Carr said the man should've attended the next day, but forgot to do so.
He said his client was still unsure how the child got out of the yard, whether it was through the gate, or underneath the fence, but said he had since fixed the fencing.
Magistrate Andrew Sinclair told the man that someone "suffering from an extreme addiction" shouldn't continuously reoffend.
"Perhaps this has played some role in the inattention that you paid towards your son," he said.
"Luckily he was found by someone who was prepared to do the right thing."
Mr Sinclair said he was pleased to see the man was open to participating in probation which involved drug rehabilitation, and parent classes, sentencing him to a supervised period of 18 months.
He was then fined $300 for the remaining charges, with convictions recorded.