crime

Couple arrested after leaving 7-month-old baby at home alone

21 Comments

Police in Sapporo have arrested 47-year-old man and his 25-year-old common-law wife on suspicion of neglecting their responsibility as guardians after they left their seven-month-old son alone at home for eight hours.

According to police, Takashi Uemae, who works for Hokkaido Television Broadcasting Co (HTB), and Yumeka Sonoda, who is unemployed, left their son alone at home for about eight hours between 8:30 p.m. on July 2 and 4:30 a.m. on July 3, NHK reported.

Sonoda came home by herself at about 3 a.m. and called police because she had lost her door key. When police helped her into the apartment, they found the baby crying on a futon. Police said he was not injured. Uemae came home later. Both he and Sonoda were drunk, police said.

Police said the couple told them they went out drinking at an izakaya (Japanese pub). Police said they have denied neglecting the chid, and quoted Sonoda as saying they were using a smartphone app to watch over him.

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21 Comments
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Hopefully they will throw the book at both and will transfer custody of the child to more responsible adults until (if) this couple demonstrate they can take care of him.

This article could have had a very different headline if the police was not called this time thanks to that lost key (and lack of ability to think from Sonoda). The fact that she never imagined the police would have a problem with a baby left alone for 8 hours would indicate this was not something extraordinary, maybe even common.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

WTF? They don't deserve to have a child.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Using a smartphone app. Seriously? They have no clue.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

This is way to common in Japan, you wouldn't believe how many times I heard parents talking about this like it is normal.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

That gap in their age is for call him grandfather instead. I hope they stay in jail while an institution does the best for the baby.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Why call the police and not a locksmith? She must have told them the baby was alone otherwise why would the police come out

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Have no idea if it's true or not, but I have heard of a heck of a lot of "parents" who are using smart phone apps to "watch" over their kids when they are out.

It's going to be difficult for the cops to actually charge this couple with any crime, particularly if they can prove the validity of the app, and that the child was not in a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation or circumstance.

People all over the world use baby monitors, and yes typically from within their own premises, but it is not unheard of for parents to use those monitors to watch over their children while they are out.

I am NOT justifying nor agreeing with their actions, and personally think that something is out of whack when a 48 year old man has a "common law" and not legally married spouse, more than likely he is just the sperm donor and she going on for the ride!

This baby SHOULD be taken into protective custody!

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

What a pathetic excuse! Poor baby, I hope someone else can take of him for a while.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's going to be difficult for the cops to actually charge this couple with any crime, particularly if they can prove the validity of the app, and that the child was not in a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation or circumstance.

No. It's illegal to leave one's baby home alone, regardless of whether or not one is using an app.

People all over the world use baby monitors, and yes typically from within their own premises, but it is not unheard of for parents to use those monitors to watch over their children while they are out.

And, it's not unheard of that people who leave their babies home alone, regardless of baby monitor, are arrested for negligence, and have their children taken into protective custody.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's going to be difficult for the cops to actually charge this couple with any crime, particularly if they can prove the validity of the app, and that the child was not in a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation or circumstance.

The use of an app to "monitor" the baby remotely will do nothing to override the fact that by law, it's illegal to leave a baby alone and unattended at home. No sane person with even a teaspoon of sense would ever think to leave a helpless infant alone in a house or apartment to fend for themselves while they go out for a merry good time. These irresponsible people should be stripped of their guardianship of the child and tossed in jail to rot. Fingers crossed that whatever passes as child protective services in Japan actually do right by the baby and place him in a good and loving home. He deserves no less.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I do hear about other parents doing this quite frequently (Of course not to this extent). I think the reason it's so common here is because you are not really supposed to do anything fun in your house, you can't or you are not used to it. In most western countries we would just pick up a baby monitor walk out on our big lawns, watch tv in our big living rooms, maybe jump in the pool, Invite friends or family and hangout. In Japan it feels like everything needs to happen outside, not that it makes it more okay though.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I’m scared to leave my 2 month old son unattended for 1 minute just to go to the bathroom and they left their son alone for 7 hours?! They don’t deserve having a baby and properly don’t even love their kid. They should be punished for this! Worst thing is that these kinda news are very common lately… :(

0 ( +3 / -3 )

WTF! It could have been worst and as always, couple will beg pardon and everything going back to the same situation. I am thinking sometimes a licence should be required to have kids here or at least interview...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No. It's illegal to leave one's baby home alone, regardless of whether or not one is using an app.

Please show me the law HERE in Japan regarding this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I’m not condoning their irresponsibility, but at least the baby was left at home and not in a stinking hot car. It is very common in Japan for parents to leave babies, toddlers and young children home alone. There are quite a few deaths recorded every year from children being left alone and having accidents.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Usually if you loose your key you can just call the management company of your apartment for a spare. But at 3am I guess there is no other option but to call the cops. I’m not defending the mom but the fact that she called the police shows she not a total monster. Just a drunk. This sounds more like parental negligence rather than abuse. My guess is the couple get a slap on the wrist and are required to go to parenting classes and the baby is put in foster care for 3 months.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

To be fair, I did leave my son alone once at home for maybe 10min max to run across the street to the drug store to buy baby formula. I was a single father. But it was 11pm and he was sleeping. Then I ran back and he was still sleeping. But yeah, 7 hours alone… thats not a normal thing for a parent to do.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I could understand the 25 year old airhead has no common sense. But the 47 year old dude?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just happy to read that the little one was not dead or taken to a hospital...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If they really wanted to go out drinking, they could have brought the baby along, as I have seen many do. Not that it's a good idea, but better than leaving it home alone. Ideally, they would be responsible parents, but too many were just raised too poorly themselves to know how.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If we decry this couple leaving their baby alone, then we must decry abortion in order to be consistent. If this couple are autonomous beings and a pregnant woman is an autonomous being, we cannot fault the couple nor the mother for neglecting the care of their respective children.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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