UK mother poisoned son to avoid going to Syria with jihadi husband

A woman in the UK repeatedly gave her son anti-psychotic drugs and poison in a desperate bid to avoid being forced to travel to Syria by her jihadi husband, a court heard.

The 27-year-old mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, deliberately gave the medication to the boy to make him unwell over a period of six weeks between August and October 2015.

On several occasions, while he was treated in hospital, she contaminated intravenous tubes used to administer antibiotics with an unknown noxious substance, believed to have been faeces or sink cleaner.

The woman, from London, claimed she was seeking to keep the young boy in hospital as she believed he would be safer there, Kingston Crown Court was told.

She was jailed for four years and six months on Friday after previously pleading guilty to eight charges, including administering a noxious substance to endanger life.

Defending, Kate O'Raghallaigh said the woman decided to deliberately make her son poorly after he spent time in hospital for an unrelated illness.

She said the woman was in "total panic" and under pressure to take her son to join the Caliphate in Syria from her now-former husband.

"That is how the idea came to life," Ms O'Raghallaigh told the court.

"Because it coincided with that period of pressure and panic ... she began to realise that if she made him ill, the hospital would have to take him in.

"As long as he was admitted, so she thought, he was safe, perverse as that thought process."

The boy, who was admitted to hospital on multiple occasions between August 23 and October 29, suffered severe neurological symptoms and bacterial infections, and at one point fell into a coma.

The bacteria in his blood is also found in the bowel and in hospital sinks and drains, tests revealed.

He has since recovered and has shown no long-term damage as a result of his illness.

The woman admitted one count of endangering life by administering olanzapine and four lesser counts of administering the anti-psychotic drug at earlier hearings.

She also pleaded guilty to three counts of administering an unknown noxious substance using a cannula while the boy was in hospital.

The woman was caught when hospital staff noticed the boy's condition would improve during the day and worsen again in the evening when his mother was present.

His unexplained illness stopped when 24-hour nursing was introduced.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Lodder QC said: "This was repeated behaviour. It was not isolated.

"You knew that your son would have to undergo painful invasive procedures and on October 29, what you gave your son was a potentially lethal dose."

He acknowledged that the woman had decided to pursue the "extreme course of action" to avoid what she perceived as the "greater harm" of travelling to Syria.

But he said she could have raised her concerns with hospital staff, instead choosing to persist with making her son ill.

Judge Lodder said: "What you were inflicting on that young child threatened the very life you claim you were seeking to protect and that must have become apparent to you."

The woman's husband went to Syria from the UK in April 2015.


KEYWORDS: Courts, UK

 

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