Who Won the Week (6 February 2022)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Who Won The Week prompt

I base these posts on Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, and I use the opportunity just to look at my own newsfeeds.


This story caught my eye just yesterday, but I thought it might be an interesting poser.

The background is a soccer match, but don’t worry if you hate sport, because that’s not really the point of the story.

The scene is a football match in England just Friday night. Manchester United (the big boys) took on Middlesborough (the minnows).

One devout Middlesborough fan secured tickets for himself and his eleven-year-old boy, booked a hotel for the night in Manchester, the works. And, wonder of wonders, Middlesborough delivered!

So what did the father do?

Well, like any red-blooded sports fan, he left the boy in the hotel room and went out on the razzle!

Next thing, the boy is discovered in the hotel room, and the guy has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect.

It’s interesting, in the UK, because there is no set age when a child might be left alone. That seems totally sensible to me, because children mature at different rates.

There is, however, a law against putting a child at risk.

So I thought I’d throw the question over to you. Does leaving an eleven-year-old alone in a hotel room put them at risk? What do you think?

Just to muddy the waters, the boy was allegedly found sleeping. That he put himself to bed and went to sleep indicates no risk to me.

But on the other hand, an arrest was made, this story found its way into the media, so something must have happened in order for the authorities to have been alerted.

Further details are still pretty sketchy, I’m afraid, because this is all so fresh and, at the time of the article (yesterday), the guy was still being questionned.

But, what do you think?

With my daughter, I was nervous every time we left her home alone. Whether she was eleven or fifteen, I always had visions of returning home to this smouldering ruin of a house. There was never a time when I was comfortable, but I nevertheless realised that I had to do it, just as part of her growing up process.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-60272983

23 comments

  1. We had four, and we were not comfortable leaving them alone into their teen years, and then making sure that several neighbors ( thank God we had some wonderful neighbors) were aware, and would check up on them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If the child would have been sitting in the hotel room crying loudly and someone heard him and reported it, then I can understand, but if he put himself to sleep who knew and who reported it? 11 yrs old is young to leave alone, however,
    each child is different you can be 11 going on 30 or 30 going on 5. Sometimes it’s the adults that need watching more
    than the younger ones. I was allowed to stay at home around 13, but then with 7 of us, we knew the rules and knew
    what would happen if we blew them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A grey area. I dealt with a woman who had left a 12 month old kid alone in her flat in the early hours while she went on the piss. The kid was dressed in a nappy and there was no heating in the flat. It was winter and it was freezing. Nothing grey about that case but this one is not so clear cut!

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  4. A difficult choice indeed but, as you are write, it probably all depends on the maturity of the child. If the boy is okay with it and he’s happy to be left on his own for a few hours then I don’t see a problem. What did his dad just leave him once he was asleep at once he wakes up and doesn’t see his father present he panics? Then obviously it’s a different story. As so often, I suppose it all depends on the circumstances.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Once or twice, we left sound-asleep daughter in hotel rooms when she was small, popping back every fifteen minutes or so, while we ate in the hotel’s restaurant.

      Equially, though, we’d have a hell of a job as she got older, even just going around Waitrose, she wouldn’t stay near the trolley. Opposite problem!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder if the hotel rang the police, fearing liability if something happened to an unsupervised child. It might be that the hotel had some legal responsibility in case of fire etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. On the surface, without any other knowledge, if the dad was going out on the piss (as we say here) then it wasn’t a responsible move. Because, who knew when he’d return, if he’d return, what state he would return in, and if he’d notice a panicked message from a son in trouble at the hotel. If he was just running downstairs to the nearest grocers or takeaway, or newsagent, or buying the bus ticket, or asking something of the concierge. No problem 🙂 I think at the least the child should have some clear expectation of when to expect dad back, and when to panic if he isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it depends upon the child’s maturity, but 11 does seem a little too young to me. I think the father was irresponsible, but I’m not sure it adds up to child endangerment.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I don’t think the kid was at as much risk as the father. Who knows what kind of trouble he got himself into. ☹️

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