Mum left child to sleep in car
POLICE found a three-year-old boy asleep on the back seat of an unattended and unlocked car at Slade Point in the middle of the night.
The windows were wound up and had fogged up.
Nearby residents said the child had been left there unattended on previous occasions.
Police banged on the front door of a house for 10 minutes and then started whacking the walls to get the mother to come out.
Bianca Hubbard, a 26-year-old single mother, had been visiting her boyfriend.
She pleaded guilty in the Mackay Magistrate's Court yesterday to leaving a three-year-old child unsupervised for an unreasonable time at Slade Point on March 22.
Police were phoned at five minutes past midnight by a resident of Ocean Avenue who said there was a child alone in a car and that it was not the first time this had happened, prosecutor Constable Janelle Young said.
"Officers found a baby boy asleep, fully harnessed, in the rear seat," she said.
"The car was unlocked and all the windows were fogged up. Police went to a residence and knocked on the front door for about 10 minutes.
"They then knocked on a wall because the air-conditioning was going."
Hubbard eventually came out and said she was the child's mother and that she was visiting her boyfriend and had checked on the child regularly.
However, police did not accept this as they had been there for a while looking after the child.
Police tried to interview Hubbard the next day at her East Mackay home but she was upset and crying and could not answer any questions.
The incident was reported to the Department of Communities.
Duty lawyer Phillip Moore said Hubbard had been at the house for about 90 minutes.
She had intended to take the child inside but the child had behavioural problems and she was concerned he would disturb people in the house.
Hubbard also said she left a window down "several inches" for the child, Mr Moore said.
Since the incident, Hubbard has sought help from ParentLine and from a family support/intervention program, Mr Moore said.
Magistrate Mark Morrow said: "A three-year-old child does not get left in a car."
Hubbard was placed on probation for nine months so she can get parenting assistance.