Mother ‘poisoned son to avoid trip to Syria with jihadi husband’
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Mother ‘poisoned son to avoid trip to Syria with jihadi husband’

A mother repeatedly gave her son anti-psychotic drugs and poison in a desperate attempt to avoid being forced to travel to Syria by her jihadi husband, a court has heard.

The 27-year-old woman, 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 because she believed he would be safer there, Kingston crown court was told.

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

Kate O’Raghallaigh, defending, said the woman had decided to deliberately make her son poorly after he spent time in hospital for an unrelated illness. She said she was in “total panic” and under pressure from her former husband to take her son to areas of Syria controlled by Islamic State.

“That is how the idea came to life,” O’Raghallaigh told the court. “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 was.”

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

The bacteria that tests discovered in his blood are also found in the bowel and hospital sinks and drains. He has since recovered fully.

The woman admitted one count of endangering life by administering olanzapine and four lesser counts of administering the anti-psychotic drug. She also pleaded guilty to three counts of administering an unknown noxious substance using a cannula while the boy was in hospital.

She 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.
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 29 October, what you gave your son was a potentially lethal dose.”

He acknowledged that the woman had decided to pursue an extreme course of action to avoid what she perceived as the greater harm of travelling to Syria, but said she could have raised her concerns with hospital staff rather than persisting in making her son ill.

“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,” Lodder said.

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