A TOLLADINE dad who stored methadone in his fridge could have killed his children, a court heard.

Simon Fearnall had taken the labels off the bottles and left them in easy reach of the youngsters, Worcester magistrates were told.

But the father-of-four, who claimed he had been refused a place on a methadone programme and so had spent £65 on his own supplies, said his children would have had to climb on chairs to reach the drug.

"Officers who carried out a search of the house said the position was such that the children could have reached them since they were in the fridge by drinks and other edible goods and were a danger to them," said Doreece Gunter, prosecuting.

The court heard police offices acting on a warrant had arrived at Fearnall's Avon Road house on the afternoon of Friday, December 22.

The 33-year-old handed over a half-smoked cigarette containing cannabis when officers burst in. Three of his children were in the house.

Police unearthed a small quantity of cannabis, valued at £15, from Fearnall's bedroom. The methadone in the kitchen fridge amounted to 645ml.

"When interviewed by police, the defendant accepted that three children were in the house and knew that it would be dangerous if the children took the methadone and that they could possibly be killed," added Miss Gunter.

Fearnall, who was not represented by a solicitor, admitted possessing methadone and cannabis resin on December 22.

But he denied he put his children at risk.

"There was no way the children could have reached the methadone in the fridge without a chair," he said.

"I've tried to sort out my problems and tried to get on a methadone programme but I've been refused.

"I'm sorry for causing this situation. I'm terrified I'm going to lose my job because of this."

Fearnall was given a 12-month conditional discharge by magistrates.