Monday, January 9, 2012

Dad was so drunk he lost baby on the way home


A DRUNK father left his baby girl alone in the street during the early hours of the morning as his fiancée was on her hen night.

Groom-to-be Christopher Dixon was supposed to be caring for his 17-month-old daughter as his partner celebrated with her friends.

​But instead he got drunk on 12 bottles of lager and left the child in her pram in the street on his way home.

The little girl was left in Southcoates Lane, east Hull, England for up to three hours, until a teenager found her and the police were contacted.

Speaking to the Mail after appearing at Hull Crown Court on child cruelty charges, Dixon said: "I'm sorry. It was a moment of madness."

Dixon, who works full-time at BP, claimed he had fallen over as he drunkenly walked home after spending the evening with friends.

When he woke up at home in Sutton, east Hull, the next morning, he believed he had left his daughter at his friend's house.

It was not until Dixon, 34, went to collect her nine hours later he realised the horrifying truth.

Panicked, he ran to a nearby police station and found a PCSO.

He told the officer: "Will you take me to my daughter?

"For God's sake, please don't tell my girlfriend."

Dixon had been working seven days a week as a scaffolder to pay for the couple's planned wedding in Cuba, but had lost his job the day before.

The wedding was cancelled after he lost their baby. His partner made the trip with a relative instead.

The court heard on the night he lost the child, Dixon's fiancée texted him to say he should leave her at the friend's house if he was drunk.

The text read: "Don't walk back with her."

She also offered to pick him up and texted the friend, saying: "Tell him not to walk home with her in that state because he cannot even speak. If OK with you she is best over there."

However, the friend did not get the message until the following day.

Dixon, of Langsett Road, Sutton, held his head in his hands and wept in the dock as he pleaded guilty to child cruelty.

The Honorary Recorder of Hull and the East Riding, Judge Michael Mettyear, told Dixon: "This was absolutely disgraceful conduct.

"It is almost unbelievable a person could be so irresponsible. You drank so much you forgot you had this child with you. It is absolutely shocking.

"I'm quite satisfied that in normal circumstances you are a loving father of this child and I hope that now you are sober you are shocked by this behaviour, as other people will be.

"There could have been terrible consequences by what might have happened if a thoroughly decent man had not happened upon her and taken her to safety. If it had been somebody else, goodness knows what might have happened."

The judge added: "There's no criticism of the mother. She has been perfectly sensible."

Dixon, who has no previous convictions, was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,500 in fines and costs.

His barrister, Stephen Brown, said: "He is distraught. It was a moment of total madness. He had lost his job as a scaffolder the day before the incident.

"He would do anything to get his family life on track. They intend to get married and are planning a wedding in the future."

The couple are still together and are planning to get married in the future.

They have been forced to live apart until the conclusion of the court case.

The little girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been placed on a child protection plan by social services and the family are being monitored.

Despite the conclusion of the court case, Hull City Council's social services department will not let Dixon move back into his family home until a care meeting has been held.

As previously reported by the Mail, when the baby was found by Joel Redhead he had initially mistaken her for a doll, dressed in pink, until he saw she was awake.

After checking the parents were nowhere to be seen, Joel, 18, pushed the pram to a friend's house just yards away from where the baby had been left.

His friend's mother answered the door. She checked the baby but left her in the pram until police and paramedics arrived.

Joel said: "It's something I'm not going to forget.

"I was so shocked. It's all a bit of a blur. People still ask me about it now.

"I never thought something like that would happen to me.

"I'm glad the baby has been able to go back to its mum."

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