A MOTHER-of-four has been sentenced to 18-months probation for risking the safety of two her of children, aged five and seven, by leaving them home alone paddling about in a wading pool for more than an hour.
The Brisbane District Court was told the woman, 27, intentionally left her children at the familyís Caboolture home, on Brisbane's northern outskirts, alone after they returned from school while she went to collect the her car on January 27 this year.
Prosecutor Ken Spinaze said police, who attended the woman's home for an unrelated matter, found the children, a young boy and girl, splashing about in an inflatable kidís pool about 3.40pm.
He said the mum, who has children aged between 11-months and eight-years of age, had told the two children she would not be home when they returned from school by bus.
The court was told the woman, who does not hold a driver's license, intended to travel with friends to collect her car which had been loaned to a friend and involved in a crash.
Mr Spinaze said the mother got stuck in traffic and when she telephoned home to check on her children was told police were at the house.
He said the woman returned home about 4.50pm -- meaning the children would have been left at home for up to 1 1/2-hours had police not inadvertently visited the house.
"The mother left her children unsupervised for well over an hour,'' Mr Spinaze said.
He said leaving two young children at home alone and playing in a pool could be best described as "a tragedy waiting to happen.''
The mother, who cannot be named and was aged 26 at the time, today pleaded guilty to two counts of leaving a child under 12 unattended.
The court was told the mum had an extensive criminal history -- dating back 10-years -- for mainly property, and dishonesty offences.
Barrister Guy Andrew, for the mum, said his client had taken steps to seek help from the Department of Child Safety and had been deemed an otherwise good mother.
Judge Leanne Clare, SC, in sentencing the woman, said: "You left your two children ... home alone ... (and had) planned to do so.''
"You put your two children at risk ... (and) you admitted the offences, but it would have been hard to deny it.
"You have been in trouble with the law on and off for the last 10-years.''
However, Judge Clare said despite the woman's troubled past it appeared the mother had been doing her best to care for her children over the past couple of years.
Mum leaves children home alone in pool | Courier Mail