A FATHER who left Alexa to monitor his 5-year-old daughter while he went out drinking has avoided an immediate jail sentence.

The 30-year-old man – who can't be named for legal reasons – told police he had willingly left his daughter at home while he went out drinking with his partner in Builth Wells in August last year, but was monitoring her via an Alexa camera app on his mobile phone.

That incident came to light after police were called by the man’s partner, who said he had strangled her following the night out.

At Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, February 1, the defendant was jailed for 12 months – but the sentence was suspended for two years.

Prosecutor Rebecca Ross said the adult female victim in the case and the defendant had known each other for around seven months and had been intimate together, but she did not consider him her boyfriend.

“She said the daughter lived with the defendant half of the time and the other half of the time with her mother,” said Ms Ross.


“On the evening of August 13 they had been drinking vodka and gin with lemonade at home from around 8pm. The defendant’s daughter was in the house but in bed.

“He wasn’t going to go out but he was not chuffed when she said she was going out without him, so he went out as well. He set up an Alexa camera in the bedroom so he could watch the child while they were out. She wasn’t sure if he went back at all during the evening to check on her.”

At a previous court hearing – at which the defendant pleaded guilty to intentionally strangling his partner and neglecting a child – it was said they had drunk at a number of pubs in Builth.

She said she couldn’t remember anything about the evening until he was strangling her. Evidence was provided by a neighbour of the female victim, who had been alerted by screaming at around 2am.

Police were called to attend a domestic incident, which is when the child neglect offence was revealed.

County Times:

In a victim impact statement read out on behalf of the unnamed woman by Ms Ross, she said: “I was terrified, he strangled me hard. I have suffered PTSD from a previous violent relationship.

"Following the incident I was unable to leave house by myself for weeks and four months later I still get panic attacks being around male strangers.

“I moved in with my mother as I can’t stay at the address where the incident happened. I am anxious at night-time and my (own) daughter has seen me crying and asks to go back to the house.”

Ms Ross said the defendant had no previous convictions and she made no application for a restraining order on behalf of the victim.

Gareth Walters, representing the defendant, said his client would feel the consequences of that night for some time.

“The consequences of this will be felt by him for a long time," he said. "His daughter has been taken away and it was largely him who cared for her.

“He felt he was keeping an eye on his daughter but he realises you can’t do that remotely. There was some effort by him to keep an eye on her but he knows the standards fell below what is expected of a parent.”

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Mr Walters said the pre-sentence report revealed the man’s “complicated background”. “He suffers with social anxiety and the relationship gave him more confidence than he usually has, and he misused it.

Magistrates jailed the defendant for 12 months for the intentional strangulation of his female victim, but they suspended it for two years. They added eight weeks for child neglect, but that term will run concurrently to the 12 months.

In addition, he will undertake 20 rehabilitation days and must pay £300 compensation.

A spokesperson for NSPCC Cymru said: “Young children should not be left at home alone, and no device is a substitute for being physically close to a child to ensure they are safe and well.

“Further information and advice can be found at nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/in-the-home/home-alone.”