Father left disabled daughter alone and went to the pub
THE FATHER of a teenager, who has the mental capacity of a baby, escaped prison after leaving her alone for 10 hours.
Nicholas Campbell went to the pub and left his disabled 19-year-old daughter in her wheelchair and unable to reach a drink.
Gloucester Crown Court heard the offence came to light when her 11-year-old sister was 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.
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He said: “She requires constant car 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 dad-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 and 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 in Newport, Berkeley where they discovered Paige in the living room, without being able to reach a drink, with no food and in her wheelchair in front of music television.
He told the court Campbell returned home after 10pm with his other two children in the car and smelling of alcohol, but refused a breathe test.
Campbell, who has three previous convictions for drink driving, was abusive to police on both arrests.
Defending Dermot Clarke said he 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 he intended to leave her alone for a few hours and had left her favourite television 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 he was desperate to have her back home and found visiting her “heart breaking”.
Campbell, admitted wilful neglect, drink driving and failure to provide a specimen.
He was given a 12 month jail sentence suspended for two years and banned for driving for four years. He will also have to pay a £100 victim surcharge.