updated 5/13/2008 8:58:18 AM ET 2008-05-13T12:58:18

An Australian man has been fined after buckling in a case of beer with a seat belt but leaving a 5-year-old child to sit on the car’s floor, police said Tuesday.

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Constable Wayne Burnett said he was “shocked and appalled” when he pulled over the unregistered car Friday in the central Australian town of Alice Springs.

The 30-can beer case was strapped in between two adults sitting in the back seat of the car. The child was also in back, but on the car’s floor.

“The child was sitting in the lump in the center, unrestrained,” Burnett told reporters Tuesday.

“I haven’t ever seen something like this before,” he said. “This is the first time that the beer has taken priority over a child.”

The driver was fined 750 Australian dollars — about $710 — for driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle and for failing to ensure a child was wearing a safety belt.

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