Friday, 18 March 2016

When does leaving a child mean neglect ?

"Tim Haines was arrested when he left his young daughter in his car outside a chemist."

"Haines said `I left her for just five minutes to buy a bottle of calpol`."

"Police arrested Haines at his house two weeks after they saw his child alone in the car. He was convicted of child neglect but cleared on appeal. He said `I was very unhappy that I'd been convicted of an offence of child abuse for something so every day`. "

"In law, there's no minimum age a child can be left on their own, but a parent can be prosecuted if they're subjected to unnecessary suffering or injury to health."

"More than five hundred people in England and Wales have been arrested for neglect, in the twelve months to April last year. They're accused of leaving their child or children at home alone and the BBC found that the youngest child involved was just six weeks old but the oldest was fifteen."

Other parents who were known to have seriously neglected their children, five nights in a row  - albeit in a holiday resort abroad - get the support of the whole British establishment and never find themselves scrutinised by social services as to their suitability to raise their two remaining children.  (Two out of three seems to be good enough for them.) You have to ask: why are Madeleine McCann`s parents presumed innocent, when so many parents are found guilty for lesser offences, if offences they be ?

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