Dad left disabled girl home alone and went off to pub
THE father of a teenager with severe disabilities has avoided a prison sentence after leaving his daughter alone for 10 hours.
Nicholas Campbell went to the pub and left his disabled 19-year-old daughter Paige in her wheelchair and unable to reach a drink.
Gloucester Crown Court heard the offence came to light when her 11-year-old sister became so concerned she called police.
Prosecutor Julian Kesner said Campbell was the sole carer for Paige, who was unable to feed herself, was incontinent, confined to a wheelchair and unable to move herself.
He said: "She requires constant care and is in danger of doing injury to herself if she is left unsupervised. But the defendant left her unsupervised for 10 hours."
The court heard the 49-year- old single father of three went to a pub at about 3pm on August 22.
Two days earlier he had been caught three times over the drink driving limit travelling towards Gloucester on the A38.
He wanted to know who at the pub had "grassed him up".
Paige's younger sister, who was taken to the pub, dialled 999 but hung up after talking to the operator.
Mr Kesner said police then went round to the family home in Church View, Berkeley, where they discovered Paige in the living room, unable to reach a drink, with no food and in her wheelchair in front of music TV.
He told the court Campbell returned home after 10pm with his other two children in the car and smelling of alcohol but refused a breath test.
Campbell, who has three previous convictions for drink driving, was abusive to police on both arrests.
Dermot Clarke, defending, said Campbell had cared for Paige since her birth when her natural mother left and had only started getting respite care four years ago.
He said when he revisited the pub friends took his car keys to stop him driving drunk again, leaving him in a "desperate dilemma".
He told the court Campbell intended to leave Paige alone for a few hours and had left her favourite TV channel on and three fig rolls in her reach.
He said: "He is a proud man and described as a first-class parent. He was feeling under pressure and isolated.
"He is absolutely disgusted with himself.
"He has looked after her for 19 years and this behaviour is out of character. For 19 years he has been an exceptional parent."
Mr Clarke said Paige was now in care but Campbell was desperate to have her back home and found visiting her "heartbreaking".
Campbell admitted willful neglect, drink-driving and failure to provide a specimen of breath. He was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years and banned from driving for four years.
He will also have to pay a £100 victim surcharge.