A boy was left to wander shoeless in the street after his dad left him alone while he spent the night in a woman's home.
The distressed seven-year-old boy was found crying in the street after a resident heard him calling out for his dad.
The court was told how the 31-year-old father had picked the woman up after seeing her trying to get a taxi after a night out. After taking her home, he went in with her, leaving the little boy in the car.
Amanda Cullen, prosecuting, said that a woman in a neighbouring property was woken by the child's cries at around 6.40am.
"She looked out of her window and saw the boy in the street alone, and decided to go down," Ms Cullen said. "He seemed scared, the passenger door to the car was open. She looked up and down the road but didn't see any adult. She tried to reassure the child because he was crying for his dad."
"She tried to get him talking but could see he was quite scared because his eyes were red from crying."
A second neighbour then came out and took the boy inside before calling the police.
When officers arrived, the dad appeared and claimed the boy must have walked out of a house on the street. When he was unable to tell the police which address, he then said he had been out stealing in the area.
Eventually, he admitted picking up the woman and going back to her house. He said they watched TV together, but that he had been checking on his son regularly.
The woman, however, said she had not known at any point that there was a child in the car.
Sinead Fearon, defending, said the dad was 'completely remorseful for his actions' and that he knew how stupid he had been.
Sentencing, magistrate Jillian Kirkbride-Wright said she was 'shocked and appalled' by the man's actions. She handed down a 12 week prison sentence suspended for 18 months, and ordered the dad to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work. The Liverpool Echo reports that she also placed him on a curfew.