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Portuguese judge to rule on British 'binge drink' parents

A British couple who collapsed unconscious after a drinking session on the first day of their holiday in Portugal face prosecution for allegedly neglecting their three young children.

Eamon and Antoinette McGuckin were taken to hospital for emergency treatment while their children, aged 1 to 6, were taken into temporary care by the authorities on the Algarve.

The couple, from Maghera, Co Londonderry, could be called to court as early as today to fac
e charges of abandonment, negligence and drinking to excess in front of a child.



Facts:

Three children were sheltered in the early hours of this Saturday in the Aboim Ascension shelter (for endangered and unprotected children) in Faro.

The children are already with their parents.

The Public Prosecutor issued a temporary order for the children to be returned to their parents, after these have slipped into alcoholic coma and being transported to the Health Services of Loulé, leaving the children alone in the room of the tourist resort.

The Irish couple aged 32 and 35, settled into a tourist resort in Vilamoura last Friday.

The children were left in the room while parents went out for dinner.

Children are a girl and two boys of one three and six years of age.

After dinner parents went to the bar of the hotel where they consumed alcoholic drinks.

They were so intoxicated that ended unconscious and had to be transported to the Health Services of Loulé.

The children were left at the guard the police (GNR).

The police was alerted by the resort management.

During the night a representative of the Social Services was able to relocate the children in the Aboim Ascenção shelter in Faro.

When the parents recovered from the alcoholic coma, they fled from the Health Services.

Meanwhile, the public prosecutor issued a temporary order to ensure that children were returned to their parents.

The judicial process will enter today in the Court of Family and Children of Faro, where an investigation will be conducted to determine liability.

The Prosecutor believes that it may have been an act of negligence by the couple by having consumed alcohol in the presence of their children.

A Portuguese prosecutor and judge are today considering whether to bring charges against the British couple accused of abandoning their three young children following a drinking session.

The incident occurred on the eve of the first anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who went missing from her family's holiday flat in the Algarve while her parents dined nearby.

Quotes

Dr Luis Villas-Boas, the home's director, said the incident was "very very shocking".

"It is the first time it has happened in my 22 years working at this home," he said. "It's normal for a couple for one to drink while the other doesn't drink. The problem here is they were both passed out. It was extreme neglect and abandonment", adding that it was unlikely "it was the first time for the parents to drink like that". "I hope somebody carries this information to the UK so these parents can at least be seen because these children are indeed at risk."

A spokesman for the local police in Vilamoura said: "Staff called us at 10pm as the children were crying and they could not revive the parents, who were both out cold. We arrived to assess the situation and called the INEM (Portugal's national medical emergency service) as the parents were unconscious, and they were taken to hospital. The INEM called the social services. We looked after the children until the social services arrived and they took them away."

Update

The legal team at Faro family court are reviewing evidence in the case to decide whether charges can be brought. The couple, from Maghera, Co Londonderry, could be called to court this afternoon to face charges of abandonment, negligence and drinking to excess in front of a child. The first two charges carry possible prison sentences.

Prosecution sources suggest however that the McGuckins could be let off with a formal warning, and the evidence handed over to the British authorities to decide what action to take.

Mr McGuckin's father, Tony, and his mother, arrived at the Hotel Mourabel in the resort of Villamoura this morning, and were closeted in the hotel room with the couple and their three children. It is understood that the family will seek to return home as soon as possible if the court decides not to prosecute.

Mr McGuckin, 34, who was a manager at Ulster Bank and now works for a mortgage company in Londonderry, is alleged to have collapsed on a sofa in the reception area of the three-star Mourabel Hotel in the Vilamoura golf resort on Friday night. His 32-year-old wife is said to have staggered into the bar with her children before passing out.

Emergency services could not wake the parents so they were taken to hospital for treatment while their three children were taken to a local refuge.

A spokesman for the GNR police in Vilamoura said: “The parents had been drunk since 3pm. Staff called us at 10pm as the children were crying and they could not revive the parents, who were both out cold.

“We arrived to assess the situation and called the INEM [Portugal’s national medical emergency service] as the parents were unconscious, and they were taken to hospital.”

The manager of the Mourabel said that the family arrived on Friday afternoon. They are believed to have visited a local pub where pints of lager costs €1 (78p) before going for dinner at 8pm.

“They arrived back about 10pm and they entered the door in reception and the man, he tried to sit down on the sofa and fell through it,” the manager said yesterday. “He fell asleep immediately – he passed out. We tried to wake him but it was impossible.

“The lady, she tried to go with the children to the apartment. She was struggling with the pushchair, swaying around from side to side.”

He added: “We put her and the children inside the bar. She was sitting on a chair and she fell asleep and never woke up. We tried to wake her, we tried to put some water on her face and head to wake her but she was very, very bad. She started to be sick every minute. We decided to call the emergency services.

“The eldest [child] was talking to us and answering questions, but sometimes you could see the tears falling down his face as he cried. He could understand that something was very wrong.”

Mr and Mrs McGuckin arrived back at the hotel at about 7am on Saturday in search of their children. “They had run away from hospital and pulled the intravenous drips from their arms,” the manager said. “The mother and father were crying and both were very, very embarrassed and shocked.”

Dr Luis Villas-Boas, director of the Refúgio Aboim Ascensão children’s home in Faro, said that Mr McGuckin had tears in his eyes when the couple came to collect the children on Saturday morning but were silent when he admonished them.

A barman at the Mourabel Hotel said: “It was a very hot day and I don’t think they meant to drink that much but when they tried to stop I think they just couldn’t. They seemed very nice people. It is a great shame this happened.”

Mr McGuckin refused to comment.



5 comments:

  1. They should have their passports taken away. Utter disgrace.

    Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bom dia!

    O comentário não vai ser,ainda,sobre este caso.

    No telejornal da Euronews,às 07:00 apela-se à denúncia do nome de um pedófilo,cujas fotos aparecem para identificação mundial.

    A seguinte vem em
    http://www.kidnapping.be/affairemaddie5ma/index.html

    Parte do título: La thèse de l'homicide.........por B. da Costa.
    (quem o conhece,que filtre).Por isso não coloco a notícia completa.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A foto do pedófilo a ser denunciado:

    http://www.interpol.int/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pois é. Os pais de um deles vieram a correr o que fizeram muitissimo bem para assim tomarem conta dos cinco; os dois adultos e as duas crianças.
    (It is understood that the family will seek to return home as soon as possible if the court decides not to prosecute.

    Outra "guerra"? Não acredito.
    Portugal gastar mais dinheiro com mais este caso internacional?

    Que vão para casa e avisem(acho que já o fizeram) a Segurança Social e a Protecção de menores da zona deles.

    ReplyDelete
  5. De Outono.

    correcção: ....para assim tomarem conta dos cinco: dos dois adultos e das três crianças.

    ReplyDelete

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