Mother who poisoned baby daughter detained indefinitely under Mental Health Act

A MOTHER who poisoned her baby daughter with bleach has been detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

The 20-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was visiting the baby in a ward at Addenbrooke’s Hospital on April 28, last year when she fed a bleach-based liquid into her stomach via her feeding tube.

The eight-month-old had been brought into the hospital on a number of occasions with her mother claiming she was suffering from a range of health problems.

She even pushed for surgery, which would have left her permanently disabled, to cure alleged feeding problems.

However, staff decided to delay the operation and opted instead to monitor the girl in a specialist unit. Numerous tests were carried out, but nothing was found to be wrong with the baby and she began to make progress.

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However, following a short visit from her mother on April 28, the baby began vomiting violently. Staff quickly cleared her feeding tubes and called police.

The woman was arrested and officers discovered a syringe containing toilet cleaner in her bag.

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She pleaded guilty to cruelty towards a young person and administering a noxious substance in order to endanger life.

At Cambridge Crown Court last week she was remanded under the Mental Health Act and will stay indefinitely at a psychiatric hospital.

Det Sgt Jenni Brain, who led the investigation, said: “This was a challenging case and we were greatly assisted by partner agencies.

“The reluctance to perform surgery, the preservation of evidence by nursing staff and the rapid response by police officers on the day all helped bring the case against the mother and help to protect the victim.”

The child, now two years old, has made a full recovery and has been permanently removed from her mother.

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