Children wandered the streets of Falkirk after dad left them home alone

A father who left his two young children alone for over 40 minutes in the early hours of the morning so he could go and snoop on his ex partner then found police at his house and his youngsters missing when he returned home.

While he was absent to see if his ex had a man in her home, his children left the house – which was unlocked – and walked off up the street in their nightclothes to try and get to their mother’s house.

When police later talked to the children they were “distressed and crying”.

The dad, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court earlier today having pleaded guilty to putting the children, both under the age of seven, at risk by leaving them alone for over 40 minutes at an unlocked address in the Falkirk area on February 27.

The father appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court

Procurator fiscal depute Ann Orr said: “He had been in a relationship with his partner for a number of years but that ended in 2020 and they had two young children together.

"Arrangements were made where the children would reside with their mother on weekdays and with the accused over the weekend. On the date in question, Sunday, February 27, the accused had the children with him.

"It was 4.20am when the accused left his home address, leaving the property unlocked, and went to attend his partner’s address to see if she had someone staying over at her house.

"The times come from the CCTV in the area – at 4.21am the accused left the address and at 4.41am the young boy was seen going out into the street, then going back to the house.”

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The younger child then appeared and, after heading back in and out of the house over the next few minute, the both children were seen to return out onto the street at 4.50am and walk off.

"Police received a call at 4.56am saying two young children were walking through the streets without their parents and in their nightwear. At 5am the accused returned to the house and then at 5.02am he was seen getting back into his car.

"Police found him in the car as he attempted to come out of the street. He immediately said he had just returned home and his two children were missing. He said he left the children at home while he attended at their mother’s house, but did not give a reason.

"He then admitted he left unsupervised because he didn’t trust his ex partner and believed she was having sex with another man. He told police he had been away for 15 minutes.”

The children, meanwhile, had been found by police.

"They said they were trying to walk to their mum’s house,” said the procurator fiscal depute. “They said their father had gone out and left them alone. They were in their nightclothes and were both distressed and crying.”

The father, who was representing himself, said: “It was a stupid moment of stupidity.”

Sheriff Derek Livingston said: “It was about 40 minutes of stupidity.”

The father responded: “I will never let it happen again.”

Sheriff Livingston deferred sentence on the father until September 15 for a criminal justice social work report and restriction of liberty order assessment.