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Woman who left her two young step-children home alone in Perth while she went overseas has had all charges dropped.

UPDATE 14 September 5pm

Charges against a Chinese woman who allegedly left a four and six-year-old home alone in Perth while she went overseas have been dropped, reports 9 NEWS.

The heavily pregnant mother, who was living in Cloverdale, faced child neglect charges and was accused of leaving her children behind in June while she went to Bali to renew her visa while her husband was also overseas.

When the 28-year-old appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday, assisted by a Mandarin interpreter, she was told the charges had been dropped after police prosecutors liaised with the Department for Child Protection and Department of Immigration.

The court heard it was unlikely the woman would have received a custodial sentence and the children, who are not Australian citizens, have to leave the country on September 26.

They will be returned to their mother’s custody and travel together back to China while the father remains overseas, her lawyer Oliver Paxman said outside court.

Mr Paxman said his client had arranged for the children to be cared for, but could not elaborate further.

“Given that this lady has got two young children, is heavily pregnant with her third child – to keep her in Australia for the sole purpose of conducting that prosecution would have cost the state and the federal government huge sums of money,” he said.

“So we applaud the West Australian Police for making a very sensible decision, a decision that is in the public interest.”

He said his client was relieved the case had been discontinued, loved her children and wanted to correct reports she had left the country to go on holidays.

“She was in a situation where she was under a great degree of pressure, she barely speaks a word of English and did her absolute best to try and arrange care of the children,” he said.

“It is an unfortunate set of facts but she did not knowingly abandon her children.

“It has been a traumatic ordeal for her.”

Previously…

In June we reported that a 28-year-old step-mum went overseas to renew her visa but couldn’t take her children because of a Post Office error, she told Seven News through an interpreter.

“The post office lost my children’s passports … that’s what has caused all this hassle,” she said.

“If you want to leave the country to go overseas you have to have your passport, that’s common sense.”

The woman left Australia on Tuesday and was greeted by Border Force on Thursday at Perth International Airport when she returned, reports The Age.

Seven News Perth reporter Jamie Freestone told Radio 6PR that during an interview via interpreter the woman had said the issue was a clerical one.

Police had gone to the address in Cloverdale on Wednesday and found the children inside. There were no adults in the home and the door had been left unlocked.

Detectives from the Child Abuse Squad discovered that the children had been left alone since Tuesday.

The children were taken into care and investigations continue, with it understood the father is still overseas.

A neighbour added they were surprised at the allegations levelled at the father.

“He does care about his kids and he’s had them come over before… they seemed to be in good shape,” they told Seven News.

The woman has been charged with two counts of knowingly engaging in conduct that may harm a child in her care.

WA Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell said the children were in the hands of departmental officials.

“When I first heard about this situation I was horrified,” she told reporters.

“Any specific chance where there’s children of this age, or in fact any age, being left alone, is extremely concerning.

“This incident serves as an example of where the community actually takes a role in looking after and safeguarding children as well.

“The safety of children is the responsibility of all of us.”

Share your comments below.

Image via shutterstock

  • Great they could make a sensible decision, which is in the public interest.

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  • My understanding is that you normally have to pick your passport up at a Post Office. Were they lost at her Local Post Office or didn’t they even arrive there?
    In the article it states the father is overseas. It doesn’t say how long he had been overseas or when he is expected to return. Did he know what could happen while he is away? Maybe if applications had been lodged for the passports earlier, replacements could have been arranged when the originals were missing.

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  • your not meant to leave children alone in the car so you wouldn’t be able to leave them home alone while you go over seas. Some people are silly. Lucky that nothing serious happened.

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  • Wonderful that common sense prevailed in the end.

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  • A quite disputable decision, but probably the best for her.

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  • I still can’t believe vshe did that

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  • You do not leave your children alone especially to go overseas!

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  • She was very lucky not to be charged with neglect.

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  • What a mess. Very sad that she couldnt have spoken to immigration and sorted something out but im sure even if she had tried they would have been unbendable.

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  • I bet if it was me I’d have been locked up

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  • Wow, it’s a huge lack of communication.

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  • I understand she would blame Australia Post for losing the passports but she was the one who decided to leave the children in a house alone for a couple of days. She can’t blame the post for putting her on the plane without her children. What a copout. I hope she does time for this.

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  • If stuck, ask someone you trust to look after your kids.

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  • Do not send passports in the mail or cash ! The lady at the post office tells me people can detect money like a 20 dollar note inside a thick greeting card.
    Why on earth did the woman leave a 4 and 6 year old alone??????????????????????? There is no acceptable reason for this. Australia post did not make her choose to leave the kids alone even if the passports went astray in the mail!

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  • Seriously? We could not believe this news report. Absolutely NO EXCUSE – clerical or otherwise. It is never OK.

    Reply

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