A binge-drinking dad has been fined after leaving four children in a filthy holiday chalet with what was claimed was a bucket of faeces on the floor.
The 38-year-old, who cannot be named to prevent identification of the three girls and one boy, was in sole charge of the children after his partner suffered a suspected heart attack.
He had taken his family to Pontins in Southport in August 2019 when it happened, Lancs Live reports.
Today he pleaded guilty to being drunk in charge of a child, child neglect and a public order offence in a hearing at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court.
Though his defence team claims the bucket of faeces was in fact mud.
Prosecutor Malcolm Isherwood said: “He and his partner had gone with their four children to Pontins for a week’s holiday. The children are aged between 13 and four.
“His partner was admitted to hospital with a suspected heart attack and the defendant became sole guardian for the children for the remainder of the holiday.
“He describes himself as being a binge drinker and he had been drinking for most of the holiday up to that point.
“He had spent this day drinking alcohol in the resort bar and in the chalet. The youngest child was left in the care of the eldest child however at times the youngest was left with the defendant and he was heavily intoxicated.
“The other children were left to roam around the holiday resort with no money and no access to food or drink.
At 10pm the defendant became agitated and aggressive because he was unable to purchase cigarettes from the shop on the site.
“He kicked and head-butted the window and was verbally abusive towards staff. They challenged his behaviour but it continued. And security decided to eject him from the site.
“The children were present during this incident and were clearly upset.
“Police arrived and the defendant was very unsteady on his feet and argumentative as he was trying to regain entry to get to his children. He told police he had been binge-drinking and had drunk 10 to 15 pints.
“Police removed the children to the site office and spoke to them. The oldest said they hadn’t eaten since breakfast.”
The court heard the police inspected the family’s holiday chalet and found a bucket full of faeces and food thrown all over the floor.
“The chalet was in a state of disarray. There was food and belongings all over the floor and a bucket containing what appeared to be faeces,” Mr Isherwood said.
The youngest child, aged four, told police he had ‘tried to make his dad a cup of tea’ to make his dad feel better when he was drunk. Police found a kettle plugged in on the floor of the chalet.
The children were all ‘unkempt with greasy hair and dirty fingernails’ and said they had not eaten since their dad had given them ‘bacon butties’ for breakfast.
Although the children were described as being ‘chipper and happy’ they were ‘extremely upset’ at seeing their father drunk and being arrested.
Defence solicitor Aftab Bakhat said the bucket inside the chalet had contained “mud and not faeces”.
“He has asked me to clarify that,” the solicitor said.
Mr Bakhat said his client insisted he was ‘a great dad’ when he is sober.
“He accepts he should have stopped drinking,” the solicitor said.
“The children weren’t walking around penniless for days without food but he doesn’t excuse it and he wishes to apologise profusely for his actions.
“He knows that what he did was wrong and has caused not just immediate harm but also psychological harm to the children who have seen their father being arrested drunk.
“He says when he is sober he is a great dad.”
A pre-sentence report prepared by the Probation Service revealed the children ‘are not at risk’.
Magistrates fined the dad £240 and gave him a 12-month community order. He must complete 20 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and was also told to pay a £90 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.