Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Drunken Father 'Forgot' His Baby; Child Left in a Buggy outside Sweet Shop

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Drunken Father 'Forgot' His Baby; Child Left in a Buggy outside Sweet Shop

Article excerpt

Byline: Geoff Johnson

A DRUNKEN father who abandoned his baby daughter in a sweet shop has been rapped by magistrates.

Shaun Marshall was three times over the legal limit to drive when he "forgot about" his six-month-old daughter, leaving her strapped into her pushchair by the shop door.

The 27-year-old, who had drunk "a skinful" the previous night, drove off with his other two young children before realising his mistake.

Marshall, of Rogerson Terrace in Westerhope, Newcastle, admitted drink driving and being drunk in charge of children.

He was warned by North Tyneside Magistrates' Court that it was only by good luck a tragedy did not happen.

Prosecuting, Mark Brennan said that at about 5.30pm on February 17, staff at The Candy Man sweet shop on Victoria Crescent, Cullercoats, called the police to report that a man had abandoned a baby.

CCTV footage showed Marshall leaving the shop with his two toddlers but abandoning his six-month-old in her pushchair by the door.

He then drove off in his Mercedes Benz.

When he returned 10 minutes later, police were waiting and he was breathalysed and arrested.

A blood alcohol test showed he had 240mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, when the legal limit is 80mg.

"He told police he was tired and confused and had not realised he'd left the baby behind," Mr Brennan said.

"He accepts he was over the limit and accepts the stupidity of driving the vehicle with his young children in the car and that he was putting their lives at risk."

Defending, John Monkhouse said Marshall was so shocked by what he had done, he had stopped drinking and begun attending Alcoholics Anonymous.

"Sometimes it takes a tragedy before a situation will strike home to somebody.

Fortunately this time a tragedy was averted and nothing too serious happened. …

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