A DAD left three children under the age of ten home alone late at night while he went out.
The father left an older child caring for two younger siblings in the house in Hartlepool at 10pm.
The man, who is in his 30s but cannot be named for legal reasons, was looking after the youngsters as his partner was in hospital.
Police became aware of the home-alone kids after receiving reports of a disturbance in the street.
“There was nothing of concern when they arrived but they discovered that the eldest child was at the address and left in charge of the two younger siblings.
“No other people were at the address.
“The officers remained at the house until the defendant arrived at 10.52pm. He was arrested.”
She added: “In interview he said he was the biological father of the children and he had spent most of that day at the hospital with his partner.
“He said he had picked the kids up from their grandmother’s at 4pm and they had played in the house. The two youngest fell asleep on the sofa around 9.50pm.
The defendant then left the house – leaving the eldest child responsible for the sleeping siblings – and walked to his friend’s house which he said was five minutes away.
When he got there, he got caught up in a row that his pal was having with his partner and then when he left he called at a nearby store to buy some cake-making ingredients as a reward for the eldest.
The court heard that when he returned home, he was met by the police officers.
Mrs Cooper said: “The defendant acknowledged that he had exposed the children to risk of unnecessary harm, and said he should never have left the house.”
The dad pleaded guilty to wilfully assaulting, ill-treating, neglecting, abandoning and exposing the children in a manner likely to cause them unnecessary suffering or injury to health.
Mitigating, Bill Davison said his client did not hide anything from the police and told them exactly what had happened.
He said: “He popped out of the house for the reason that he said. There was no obvious immediate danger to the children but when you leave a child with younger children then anything could happen and there is a potential risk.
“At one time people did this regularly, but it’s a different age now and people appreciate risks.
“We’re at an age of higher standards and we’ve got to comply with that.”
Chairman of the bench Patricia Hutchinson released the father on unconditional bail and adjourned sentencing him until September 21 for the Probation Service to carry out a pre-sentence report.