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Australian Mother on Trial for Neglecting Son Who Died While She Gambled

6 March 2001

AUSTRALIA – March 6, 2001 – As reported by the Australian "A woman whose 19-month-old son died of heatstroke after she left him in her car while she played poker machines described herself as having a "mild" gambling problem, a Victorian jury heard yesterday.

"In a videotaped interview with police - shown as evidence in the Supreme Court trial - Jie Hua Yu, of Ferntree Gully, admitted to having a gambling problem around the time of the death of her son, Brian Yao.

"Ms Yu had left Brian asleep in an unshaded car park with the windows wound up for up to two-and-a-half hours while she played gaming machines at the Ferntree Gully Hotel.

"…She had planned to stay for only 20 to 30 minutes, the court heard from the video. When asked how her husband had known where to find her, she replied `because ... that's where I usually go'.

"…Peter Davis, a medical practitioner at the William Angliss Hospital where Brian was admitted unconscious, told the jury that the child's body temperature had recorded a `dangerously high' level of 42.3 degrees. Normal body temperature was about 36 to 37.5 degrees…"

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