By bobb |

Lauren Price

A care support worker is accused of leaving his client — who has severe autism — in the back of a car on a 40C day while he was allegedly inside a shopping centre buying groceries with the client’s cash.

Police say officers were forced to break into the car after finding the 26-year-old client — who is non-verbal — “visibly distressed” and “heat affected”.

It is alleged the care support worker left the man in the back seat of his parked car at Lakeside Joondalup Shopping Centre on January 13.

He entered the shopping centre around 1.40pm, while the 26-year-old was allegedly left with his seat belt buckled as the temperature tipped over 40C.

Police claim the front windows were left partially open, however, the back windows were closed.

Almost an hour later, police say a concerned member of the public alerted security of the situation, who then contacted emergency services.

After police broke into the vehicle, the 37-year-old worker returned and spoke with police.

It was revealed he allegedly used cash from his client’s wallet — without permission — to purchase food items.

In a statement from WA Police on Thursday morning, a spokesman said the 26-year-old autistic man was taken to Joondalup Health Campus by St John WA and was later released that night.

The 37-year-old, from Northbridge, has since been charged with endangering the life, health or safety of a person and stealing as a servant.

He will face the Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday.


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