Earlier this year, a huge scandal struck SkyCity Auckland, when security stumbled upon a van full of children, abandoned by their parents who had decided to spend the day gambling. The parents were arrested immediately, making headlines across the country – now, they have faced a local judge and decisions have been handed down for both the mother and the father, who have received name suppression.
Both parents were charged with child neglect – specifically, leaving a child under the age of 14 without supervision – but only one was convicted of the crime. The mother and the father were both discharged but only the mother got away without conviction. The father of the children has been found guilty of the crime, and his sentencing will take place later this year.
The judge’s reasons why only one party was convicted has not been revealed; however, some details about the court case have been shared, which shed some light on the situation. According to reports, the mother’s lawyer claimed that she is in the process of becoming a social worker, and a conviction would jeopardize her career plans. It seems unlikely that this argument is the entire reason she escaped conviction-free, but if the mother actually does have plans to become a social worker, she will need to set her priorities straight before pursuing this career path.