Toddlers’ teenage babysitter ‘paid in ice’
A RECKLESS man gave his 15-year-old niece ice before leaving her to babysit his two very young children, a court has been told.
The 32-year-old former Gympie man, who cannot be named, faced Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday where he pleaded guilty to supplying his young niece and her 18-year-old friend with ice.
The court was told that the man offered to give his niece a small amount of money in exchange for babysitting his kids, then aged 1 and 2, so he and the children's mother could go out in Brisbane.
Instead, Prosecutor Ben Jackson said the teenage girl asked for a small amount of ice and the family, with the niece and her 18-year-old friend, travelled from Gympie to a Brisbane hotel on September 22, 2018.
Throughout the evening, the man supplied his niece and her friend with unspecified amounts of ice, which they smoked, before the couple left them to care for their kids.
The father had also smoked ice and the couple did not return to the hotel until early the next morning, the court was told.
While the court accepted the niece was only given small amounts of ice, Mr Jackson said it was disgraceful behaviour.
"This is a reprehensible way to behave in the presence of children and it created potentially a very dangerous set of circumstances," he said.
Mr Jackson said the family returned to Gympie the next day.
Later the father was charged and the Department of Child Safety removed the children from the couple's care.
Justice Jean Dalton said that was unsurprising.
"The idea that you would have a 15-year-old babysitting your two very small children after supplying that 15-year-old with methylamphetamine to use ... what happens to the kids?" Justice Dalton said.
Defence barrister Jason Todman said his client had struggled with a drug addiction for 10 years but when his kids were taken from the couple's care he was "shocked" into action and moved the family to Brisbane.
"They set up a new life away from Gympie to get away from the drug influences they were exposed to in the Gympie area," Mr Todman said.
The court was told the couple proved they could be responsible parents and the kids were later returned to their care, but they had since broken up.
Justice Dalton said it was in the man's favour that since being charged in 2018 he had no drug offending and there were indications he was now living drug-free.
The father was sentenced to 18 months' jail.
After time already served, he was granted immediate parole. - NewsRegional