Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dad on trial for trying to smother baby, poison him with codeine (Newcastle, England, United Kingdom)

UNNAMED DAD is on trial for attempting to smother his infant son and poison him with codeine. It's suggested that Daddy did this as a "ploy to stay close to the child's mother."

Hmm. Interesting, in that we're always told that only mothers engage in this kind of behavior. You know, Munchausen by proxy syndrome.

Newcastle dad tried to kill baby, court told
Feb 16 2010 by Rob Pattinson, Evening Chronicle

A DAD tried to murder his baby by smothering him and poisoning him with powerful painkillers, a court heard.

Making his baby unwell was part of the accused father’s ploy to stay close to the child’s mother, Teesside Crown Court was told yesterday.

The defendant, from Newcastle, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has denied giving his son the adult painkiller codeine to endanger his life.

He has also denied child cruelty, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm with intent.

The four charges relate to autumn 2008 when the child was still only weeks old, jurors were told.
Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said: “During the first two months of life, the baby was admitted to four hospitals because of episodes of apparent illness. The doctors involved were perplexed by the child’s symptoms.”

Medics became suspicious about the pattern of his admissions and the police and social services became involved, the court heard.

Most times when the child fell ill – becoming limp, pale and unresponsive – he had been in the sole care of his father, the prosecution alleged.

The court was told hospital staff were alerted when they witnessed the defendant remaining unemotional as his son received emergency care.

One episode of illness was so bad he would have died but for the hospital treatment he received, the prosecution said.

“He was stiff and kept arching his back,” Mr Dodds said. He began to go into cardiac and respiratory arrest.”

Afterwards, the painkiller tramadol was found in a sample of the baby’s blood. Previous tests had found codeine in his system.

Other times the boy suddenly deteriorated, then rapidly improved following treatment.

The court heard that four days after returning from the hospital with the baby, the mother first became concerned when she was unable to wake her son.

The boy was taken to one hospital and given emergency treatment before being transferred to two others.

Giving evidence, the baby’s mother told the jury: “Around September 23 I was picking the baby up from his Moses basket and I saw something which I thought was a bit of tissue.

“I went to flick it away and I saw it was a pill. It just looked like one of my codeine tablets.

“I said ‘How the hell did that get there?’ He (the baby’s father) didn’t react. He just picked it up and took it away.”

The prosecution said the defendant and the baby’s mother met on the internet and soon she became pregnant.

The trial, expected to last up to four weeks, continues.