Categorized | East, North

Autistic boy disappears from creche

Six-year-old picked up by passing paramedics after crossing Toodyay Road.

CHRIS THOMSON

A creche in Middle Swan has been fined $8000 after a six-year-old boy with autism went missing as his mother dropped by to pick him up.

State Administrative Tribunal member Patricia Le Miere recently heard that between 5:35pm and 5:40pm on September 1 last year the boy left the outside school hours care service at St Brigid’s Primary School on Toodyay Road.

Paramedics taking a patient to Swan District Hospital saw the unsupervised boy running along a footpath beside Toodyay Road at 5.38pm.

The boy then crossed the road near a Shell Petrol Station and entered a playground in a nearby park and started playing on the playground equipment.

The paramedics persuaded the boy to travel with them in the ambulance to the hospital.

They called police at 5:55pm to collect the boy from them at the hospital.

About 6:05pm police collected the boy from paramedics and returned him to the creche.

Ms Le Miere heard that some educators knew the boy had a tendency to hide and wander off.

Earlier, about 5:35pm there had been only three children left in the creche including he and his brother.

About 5:40pm, a senior educator saw the boy’s mother arrive in her car directly out front of the classroom.

The boy said: “Mum’s here”, and pushed the back of his brother’s chair.

A senior educator saw the boy run out the front door into the front play area which was enclosed by a fence and gate.

The educator knew another creche staffer was out there, and assumed the boy had gone to greet his mother.

Soon after, the mother came into the classroom and asked: “Where’s [the boy]?”

It was then that the educator realised the boy was not with his mother.

LPR Holdings, which runs the creche, was fined $8000 and ordered to pay $1500 legal costs to the Department for Local Government and Communities which brought the case to the tribunal.

Photo: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez, Wikimedia Commons, under GNU free documentation licence.

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