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Four children left home alone, no food or heating.

May 12, 2014 1 comment

Four children – all under 7 – left home alone on Saturday night were found scared and crying when police went into a Whangarei house.

A 24-year-old Raumanga woman faces four charges of neglecting a child under the age of 18 and will appear in Whangarei District Court today.

Full article here.

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Tragic lack of parental supervision leads to boy’s death.

January 18, 2012 2 comments

The article below details the drowning of 4-year-old Michael Te Kapurangi Walker-Mitchell, who had complete freedom to roam the streets of the East Coast settlement of Te Karaka where he lived, as long as he “watched out for dogs, kept off the road and was home by dark”.

Let me just repeat that he was FOUR YEARS OLD! The cause of his death has been attributed to an inadequately fenced water tank. Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that he would probably be alive today if only his parents had an ounce of common sense and kept an eye on him.

IMO the parents should be charged with neglect causing death. But no, in some sections of today’s society the government is expected to be responsible for raising the children produced by parents who are merely the birth vessel and sperm doner, unwilling or unable to perform this vital duty.

Daredevil boy’s tragic drowning.

Michael Walker-Mitchell was allowed to roam the streets of the East Coast settlement of Te Karaka, as long as he watched out for dogs, kept off the road and was home by dark.

Good rules, but “daredevil” Michael was just four and didn’t stick to one of them – to stay out of a property 108m from his home because there was a disused water tank there.

Four days after his fourth birthday he wandered on to the property, into the 1.8m deep tank and drowned. Hastings Coroner Chris Devonport, in a report released today, found Michael died of drowning last June 4.

His family raised the alarm when he failed to return by 5pm, having last been seen at 3.30pm. Others in the village were called, and police were notified at 7pm. Michael’s body was found just after midnight, submerged in the water tank.

His father, Michael Mitchell, told the coroner the preschooler knew not to go into the property. “I told him not to go in there. My aunty stays across the road and she always tells the kids to keep out of there.

“The gate’s always down and horses run in there all the time. As far as I can remember, that tank was uncovered. That’s why everybody was told to stay out of there.”

Michael usually played with his trucks in a drain outside the family home or went to his cousins with his five-year-old sister, Mr Mitchell said. “Everybody knew him in the village, most were related to him,” he said.

“There’s a kind of attitude that you look after each other’s kids. Michael was always told not to take off by himself but he would. “We had rules, like watch out for dogs and never walk on the road and be home before dark.”

Mr Mitchell described his son as “a bit of a daredevil”, always climbing on cars or running around. Mr Devonport said the property the water tank was on had a gate but there was a gap in it which an adult could walk through.

The tank was 1.8m deep, 5.3m long and 2.8m wide and set into the ground but was not classed as a swimming pool and therefore not required to be fenced. However, it was clearly a hazard to small children – “and that fact appears to have been known”, Mr Devonport said.

“However, the tank was not adequately fenced off or covered to eliminate the hazard. The only action taken to reduce the danger to small children appears to have been to instruct them to not enter the property.

“Tragically, in Michael’s case, that was insufficient.”

Children abandoned in appalling conditions.

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment

From the New Zealand Herald:

Hamilton police are looking for the parents of two young children found abandoned in appalling conditions early today. Police were called to a Dinsdale suburb house about 3.30am and arrived to find a two-and-a-half-year-old girl crying outside the front door, shift manager Senior Sergeant Kevin Anderson said.

“Officers entered the home and came across an 11-month-old boy crying in a portable cot. He had superficial facial injuries and in his cot were two RTD cans, some chips, a bottle of milk formula and a straw, and a sealed condom packet.”

Police searched the house looking for a parent or caregiver and at first thought they had found someone in a bed. “On inspection, police found the bed had been padded to look like someone was there but under the quilt were blankets and pillows.”

Mr Anderson said the children were taken into the care of Child Youth and Family. The parents of the children had still not been found after four hours, Mr Anderson said.

Their mother was located at the address at around 9am this morning, having returned around 6am. The woman noticed her children were missing but had incorrectly assumed their grandmother had collected them. She is currently being interviewed by police.

Baby locked in car while dad in strip club.

April 14, 2010 5 comments

Wayne Schwamm, pictured in 1998

Baby allegedly left during strip club visit taken into care.

Appalled Child, Youth and Family workers have taken a one-year-old baby into care after his father left him unattended in a car while he watched strippers in a nearby Wellington bar. Children’s Commissioner John Angus says leaving a baby alone is an “extreme form of neglect”.

A passer-by noticed the child about 3am yesterday and contacted police, who arrived within seven minutes and broke a window of the locked car to rescue the baby. They took him to Wellington police station but he was later taken to Wellington Hospital by ambulance staff concerned about his breathing.

The father was found in the nearby Mermaid strip club, where he was arrested on an outstanding warrant for unrelated “minor” charges, Inspector Simon Perry said. “He was not being actively sought by the police (for the outstanding warrant) and he will appear on those charges when he goes to court.”

What a loser! Fortunately the baby slept through the incident, but where was the mother while this was happening? Full article here.

Woman left baby to die in laundry basket in garage.

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Woman admits hiding baby son’s body.

A 27-year-old woman hid the body of her baby boy born in a Christchurch park at the end of a secret pregnancy. She pleaded guilty to disposing of the body when she appeared in Christchurch District Court today. She was remanded to June 2 by Judge Michael Crosbie for a psychological report to be prepared for her sentencing.

She was bailed to Christchurch’s Hillmorton Hospital, which handles mental health cases. The woman, who is unemployed, admitted that in July or August last year she gave birth to a baby boy in a park near her home, without help from anyone else.

Full article here.