A five-year-old boy with a gashed forehead was left to fend for himself after his drunken father passed out on a Metro train.
Horrified passengers raised the alarm after seeing the boy’s plight as his father, Gary Lisle, from South Shields, slept off a booze binge.
Lisle, of Alice Street, South Shields, was given a four-month suspended sentence when he appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard Lisle, 29, was fast asleep after a booze binge which had started the previous day when horrified passengers raised the alarm at about 9pm on Saturday, March 7.
A witness was so shocked they called the police and pulled the emergency brake, forcing the train to a halt at Sunderland Station.
John McGlone, prosecuting, said the child had been uninjured when Lisle’s former partner handed him over to his father for an arranged visit at 10.30am that morning.
On March 7, you were in what appears to be a drunken stupor on the Metro, when you were responsible for the care of your five-year-old son, who had a visible injury, which he said you were responsible forDistrict Judge Roger Elsey
Mr McGlone said that, when a passenger asked the boy what had happened, he told them: “My daddy pushed me over.”
The train was brought to a stop and, after police boarded the train, they had to wake Lisle by shaking him.
The court heard Lisle told officers that he had been drinking since the day before and he was arrested.
The boy was admitted to Sunderland Royal Hospital, where he was kept overnight.
He had a 3.5cm by 3cm swollen bruise on his forehead, with a 3cm cut.
The youngster told detectives: “My dad pushed me on the wall because he was too angry.
“My dad always drinks beer all the time.”
Lisle admitted assaulting, ill-treating or neglecting a child under the age of 16.
He told police he had drank six to eight cans of Foster’s lager and had caught the Metro, intending to go to his home address in Alice Street, South Shields.
He said he was unaware of the injury and unaware of how it had occurred.
Chris Wilson, defending, said Lisle works full-time as a merchandiser in the retail industry.
He said: “Mr Lisle consumes far too much alcohol.
“He was drunk whilst his child was in his care. Whilst the child was in his care he stumbled, hit the child, and, as a result, he has pushed the child and he has hit the wall.”
Mr Wilson said the movement of the Metro train contributed towards him falling asleep. He added: “He realised the stark reality of the situation when he was awoken.” Lisle has not seen his son since.
District Judge Roger Elsey said: “You were in what appears to be a drunken stupor on the Metro when you were responsible for the care of your five-year-old son, who had a visible injury, which he said you were responsible for.
“Luckily, concerned passengers caused the train to stop and police were called. Your son had to spend the night in hospital in order to get the appropriate treatment. Your self-indulgence clearly means that you are responsible for that injury, so clearly there has to be a significant punishment.”
He added: “Not only do you have previous convictions for offences of violence, you also have a previous conviction for being drunk in charge of a child. That means this case is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.”
Lisle was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, but Judge Elsey said he would suspend the sentence for a year. He added: “Otherwise the work the probation service needs to do in order to protect your son and change the way you behave would not be done.”
Lisle was also sentenced to a 30-day activity requirement and was told to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £80 costs.