Lynley Bilby

Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Drunk boy's father to seek care of five sons

Dr Eleanor Carmichael, a consultant at Waikato Hospital, said booze could damage a youngster's organs and affect development. Photo / Thinkstock
Dr Eleanor Carmichael, a consultant at Waikato Hospital, said booze could damage a youngster's organs and affect development. Photo / Thinkstock

The estranged father of a 9-year-old boy discovered drunk in a skatepark wants his five young sons to live with him.

A public furore erupted after a video appeared on YouTube showing the boy legless in a Hamilton skatepark.

The youngster is believed to have drunk up to eight cans of 7 per cent alcohol bourbon and cola, and two shots. Police say they have been talking to a man about the incident although no one has been arrested. But the 32-year-old mum faces a bid from the father for care of the boys.

The Waihi-based father - who the Herald on Sunday has decided not to name - said he planned to see a lawyer this week to seek custody of his sons.

He said he wanted to ensure none of his boys would end up in the same situation again.

He was furious with the man who gave his boy the booze.

"To me, there are no words that could say sorry, there are no actions that could say sorry. Why the hell did you give my son alcohol?"

He said the man was a distant relative of his former partner and he had met him in passing.

The mother told the Herald on Sunday the man who supplied her boy with alcohol at the Clarkin Rd skatepark had visited her twice in the past few days.

"He's been over twice since the whole thing happened trying to apologise and trying to justify himself."

She said she rejected his apologies outright.

The woman said the children were at her parents' home to shield them from publicity.

Dr Eleanor Carmichael, a consultant at Waikato Hospital, said booze could damage a youngster's organs and affect development.

"Alcohol is a neurotoxin and can have a number of damaging effects on a growing child, especially one as young as 9."

She said the boy would have taken up to 72 hours to recover from the booze binge. "He must have had a severe hangover. I am surprised he wasn't hospitalised as he appeared to be barely functioning."

- Herald on Sunday

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