14/08/2014 12:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

TV Detective Laurence Fox Branded 'Disgusting' By Community Policeman After Leaving Son Alone In Car

PA Archive/Press Association Images

TV detective Laurence Fox has blasted a Police Community Support Officer who called him 'disgusting' after the actor left his five-year-old son unattended in the family car for a few minutes.

Laurence, who plays Detective Sergeant James Hathaway in the ITV drama Lewis, went on Twitter to describe how he needed to pop into a chemist to get some medicine for his youngest son, Eugene, 22 months.

Winston, the star's eldest son by actress Billie Piper, asked to stay in the car while his dad ran the errand – which then led to Laurence being branded a 'disgusting and appalling human being' by a PCSO.

The 35-year-old actor told his 19,000 followers on Twitter: "Park in loading bay to run into chemist to get medicine for sick child. Eldest son asks to stay in the car.

"I agree as I will be minutes. Return to car to find police community support officer telling me my son has been screaming in the car.

"He looks fine to me. I ask him if he is ok and he says he's fine. I ask him if he was screaming, he says 'no'.

"Get in the car. As I close the door ... officer calls me a "disgusting and appalling human being" and infers my son is lying."

Laurence, son of actor James Fox and cousin of Silent Witness star Emilia Fox, said he would complain formally about the officer.

He said: "I cannot believe it. I've got their number. Looking forward to writing to whoever it is you write to when you are harrased [sic] by the police."

Technically, it is an offence to leave any child under 16 alone for any period of time, even briefly, in a locked car.

Section One of the Children And Young Persons Act 1933 makes it an offence to 'neglect or abandon' a child, but the law does not make clear what this amounts to.

A prosecution would depend on the circumstances and could, in theory, lead to up to 10 years in jail.

But law experts said that in every case a parent needs to take into account the age and maturity of the child.

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Leaving kids in cars. Is it safe?
Leaving your children home alone