Child-minder 'put charges at risk'

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The Independent Online
A CHILD-MINDER who left five children alone while she visited her sister was yesterday convicted of putting them at risk.

A jury at Isleworth Crown Court in west London heard how police went to the home of Kulvinder Kaur Khalsa, 35, last February after a 'distressed' eight-year-old boy called 999. Officers found the five children, aged between three and eight, alone in the locked semi-detached home in Southall, south-west London.

Alex Lewis, for the prosecution, told the three-day trial that police waited for 40 minutes until Mrs Khalsa arrived home with her own children and admitted responsibility for the other five. 'For at least 40 minutes those children were exposed to dangers around the house with no suitable adult being present,' she said.

Mrs Khalsa, who said she had only intended to be away for 10 minutes, was remanded on bail for reports prior to sentencing on 10 September. Judge Hezlett Colgan told her: 'You have been convicted on clear evidence.'

Earlier, through a Punjabi interpreter Mrs Khalsa told the court: 'This is just my bad luck that I went out for a little time and I find myself in this.' She has been registered as a child-minder with Ealing borough for four years. 'All the women who were leaving their children with me are still leaving their children with me and they trust me,' she said.

Asked who would look after the children while she visited her sister, Mrs Khalsa said: 'I have faith in my God and he looks after everyone. I have no faith in anybody else.

'The children were safe and they were secure in my home. I love these children and I care for them even more than my children.'

She had denied 10 charges in all: five counts of abandonment and five of exposing the children to unnecessary suffering or possible injury.