Mum shocked at drunk nine-year-old son

A pixelated screen-shot from the video.
A pixelated screen-shot from the video.
The mother of a Hamilton boy who was filmed celebrating his ninth birthday drinking at a skatepark says she was shocked and angry to discover he had been consuming alcohol.

A video of the boy, who appears to be intoxicated, was posted on YouTube yesterday, showing him holding a can of Cody's RTD bourbon and cola drink. He appears barely able to stand and is later seen slumped against a wall at a skatepark in Fairfield.

Police said they are appalled by the incident and the actions of the people at the park are being investigated.

The boy's mother - who the Herald has chosen not to name to protect his identity - said her family had been at a tangi. When they arrived home the boy, excited about his birthday, ran off to tell his friends who lived nearby.

He later arrived home, acting strangely, and tried to pour himself a drink but instead spilled it all over himself.

"He smelled like Lynx [deodorant] and I asked him 'what's wrong with you ?' then I could see he was really drunk."

The mother said her son had never drunk alcohol before. He was put straight to bed but was sick during the night.

She said she was "extremely angry"that an adult had supplied alcohol to her son. She was also angry that a number of people had seen the events unfold but did not immediately contact her or police.

The mother said her son had received a "very good talking to"yesterday morning, and at the police station later in the day.

He was "grounded indefinitely".

"Don't you worry, he's not going far," she said.

The boy's father, who is separated from the boy's mother, said he was appalled his son was allowed to drink so much alcohol and first learnt of the incident when somebody called to say his son was on YouTube.

"My heart is ripping out at the moment, I'm trying to hold it together. It's hard."

Hamilton city area commander Inspector Greg Nicholls said police were considering charges under the sale of alcohol act. However, the legislation around the supplying of alcohol to minors "never envisaged an adult supplying alcohol to a 9-year-old child".

"I see the drunken activities of adults who one would think could make good choices in life," he said "But to have a vulnerable young boy consuming alcohol is very appalling."

Mr Nicholls said police went to the Fairfield skate park on Clarkin Road on Tuesday at 6pm after receiving several concerned calls from the public about the boy.

He described the boy's home life as stable and caring but CYF had been contacted to provide any support the family may need.

The man who shot the video, 18-year-old scooter rider Bradley Goudie, said he and a friend had found the boy drunk about 4.30pm.

In the video Mr Goudie can be heard talking to the people around the boy saying "he's like eight ... he could die".

"Basically I was just concerned about his safety because he was trying to hop on his scooter and ride around the bowl. And alcohol and physical activity do not mix - especially when you're only 9-years-old."

He reported the incident to police and later posted the footage on YouTube because he wanted to highlight the issue and anti-social behaviour at the park.

Waikato director of alcohol and drug community support Stephen King said it was concerning the ages of children being exposed to alcohol was "progressively getting younger".

"This is not relative to Fairfield or south Auckland, it's the same issue associated across all demographs in society although it tends to come to the fore in lower socioeconomic areas."

- James Ihaka and Matthew Backhouse

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