A Sydney father who left his young son in a scorching hot car while he played the pokies at a local pub has been fined and disqualified from driving.
He left the boy with a mobile phone and a bottle of water for almost two hours before a parking ranger raised the alarm.
Clearly ashamed, the Guildford father bolted from Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday morning via a fire escape.
So desperate was he to avoid scrutiny, he hid in a hotel car park for an hour.
"Clearly he did not think this through, it is just pure stupidity to leave a child in a car," victim's advocate Howard Brown said.
The 32-year-old was itching to play the pokies at a Guildford pub one day in late December, but he had his five-year-old son to look after.
He knew he couldn't take him into the hotel, so he left him in the car on a 40 degree day.
For almost two hours he left the engine running, his son unrestrained in the front seat, with a bottle of water and the air con on.
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Parked in a loading zone for two hours, it was only a matter of time before a parking ranger would come along.
She spotted the child sitting on the front seat, playing with his father's phone - but rather than call police straight away, she simply wrote out a parking ticket and left.
Half an hour later she returned and then phoned police.
"We've seen this happen before where parents have left the vehicle unattended with the engine running, the vehicle's been stolen and police resources have been drained," Howard Brown said.
The boy's father was fined $4,500 and disqualified from driving for 10 months.