Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dad found guilty of poisoning newborn son with adult painkillers (Darlington, England, United Kingdom)

UNNAMED DAD has been found guilty of poisoning his newborn son with codeine and Tramadol, which are both potent painkillers prescribed for adults, not infants. Although he's trying to blame the mom, it is also the case that this father had "sole care" on the majority of occasions in which the baby become ill--18 in all.

Father guilty of poisoning his son
8:14am Saturday 6th March 2010

Print Email Share By Neil Hunter »

A JURY yesterday found a father guilty of poisoning his newborn son with adult painkillers, and of child cruelty.

The Darlington man will have to wait until Monday to find out whether he will be convicted or cleared of attempted murder.

After 90 minutes of deliberations yesterday afternoon, the jury returned unanimous verdicts on the poisoning and child cruelty charges.

The panel of seven women and five men was sent home for the weekend and will return to continue its deliberations.

During a three-week trial, Teesside Crown Court was told that the father poisoned and smothered the baby.

He had sole care of his son on the majority of occasions the baby became ill in the first three months of his life, in late 2008.

The boy was admitted to four hospitals in the North- East after the episodes of illness, which baffled doctors.

Tests later showed he had been given the adult painkillers codeine and Tramadol – described by one expert as potent.

The court heard that there were 18 bouts of illness – including a life-threatening cardiac and respiratory arrest.

Urine samples the following day revealed the presence of Tramadol, which would generate devastating symptoms, experts said.

The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied all the charges and has been on trial since the middle of last month.

The jury will have to decide on Monday whether the 30- year-old tried to kill the baby, cause him serious harm, or neither.

The charges of attempted murder and the alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent remain.

During his evidence, the father said he had never hurt his son, and rejected prosecution suggestions that he had done so. In his lengthy police interviews, he suggested the child’s mother was responsible for administering the powerful painkillers.

The jury has heard that the mother was prescribed codeine to relieve her symptoms after the Caesarean section birth.

The baby’s father had been given Tramadol following an accident months before the baby was born, in September 2008.

He was found guilty of cruelty to a child and administering a poison or noxious substance – codeine – so as to endanger life.