Salt poison mum’s appeal thrown out


A mother has failed to overturn a verdict that she deliberately gave her severely disabled child an overdose of salt.

The Court of Appeal rejected claims that the ruling contained insufficient reasons and ignored the timeframe and context of the alleged poisoning.

Her little girl was just under two years old when she suffered significant harm through the overdose in January 2010.

She had ingested up to two teaspoons of salt, possibly from a contaminated tin of food supplement.

According to expert medical opinion it was most likely delivered through a gastric tube to bypass the child’s taste mechanism and straight into her stomach.

Both parents were later interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder.

In 2011 a High Court judge found on the balance of probabilities that the girl’s mother had been the perpetrator.

The child, who suffered a severe brain injury due to nearly drowning months after she was born, is fed using a gastric tube.

She is also spoon-fed soft foods mixed with proprietary supplements, including one known as Duocal.

Her care arrangements were shared following the separation of her parents.

The girl’s mother claimed to have no knowledge of how she received excess salt and denied any responsibility.

She suggested the child’s father could have gained entrance to her house while she was out and tampered with either the boiled water used in feeds or the Duocal.

Alternatively, he might have seized a later opportunity during a few moments she left him alone to go to the toilet, the woman claimed.

The child’s father denied that he was ever on his own in the house during the day of the incident.

His ex-partner was held responsible after the High Court judge found her account to be unbelievable.

In her challenge to the finding she contended that it was unsustainable on the evidence and lacking in reasons.