Dad loses custody of his daughter after leaving an Alexa on to babysit while he was at the pub
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A dad has lost custody of his daughter after leaving an Alexa on to babysit while he was down the pub.
Amazon’s cloud-based voice service device is handy for all sorts of reasons, from making to-do lists to setting alarms.
Minding a child of any age is not one of them.
But that’s exactly what the man at the centre of this case did, leaving his five-year-old daughter alone and keeping an eye on her using the Alexa phone app.
The 30-year-old man, who hasn’t been named for legal reasons, faced court this week where it was heard that he’d 'willingly left his daughter at home' at 8pm on 13 August last year in order to go out drinking.
Authorities only discovered the fact at around 2am the following morning when he strangled his new girlfriend and neighbours called the police after hearing screaming coming from their garden.
When the cops arrived, he admitted to leaving his daughter at home alone with nothing but the Alexa to watch over her as he ‘went to a string of pubs’ in the town of Powys.
Prosecutor Stephen Davies told the court that the defendant and his new girlfriend had known each other for around seven months before the night in question.
He said: “The female had been drinking on the day and he was with her. She went out about 8pm as did he. The child was left in the flat.
“They went to a number of pubs and she says she can’t remember anything until he was strangling her. She doesn’t recall how she got home.
“The police were called and marks were noticed on her neck. She said the child had been left in the house for a short period of time.”
When PC Phillip Coombs arrived at the man’s property at 2.10am, they found him and his new partner fighting.
“When he was later interviewed he stated he had grabbed the victim by the throat. He told her to shut up and that she needed to calm down,” Davies added.
“He said he'd left his daughter at home, but had an Alexa camera app on his phone to monitor her snoring.”
Defending, Gareth Walters said: “He is a young man of previous good character, who has entered guilty pleas to serious offences.
“The consequences of this will be felt by him for a long time. His daughter has been taken away and it was largely him who cared for her.
“He felt he was keeping an eye on his daughter but he realises you can't do that remotely.
“There was some effort by him to keep an eye on her but he knows the standards fell below what is expected of a parent.”
The man pleaded guilty to intentional strangulation and child neglect at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates' Court in Wales, and was slapped with a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years.