Mother poisons baby to win man back
A young Logan mother poisoned her six-month-old baby with medication used to treat ADHD twice and made a Facebook account to parade her daughter's life-threatening illness to win back a man who'd broken up with her a month prior, a court has heard.
The Eagleby woman in her 20s, who can't be named to protect the identity of her victim, was on Friday sentenced to five years in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of administering poison with intent to harm.
The court heard the offending, which Crown prosecutor Stephen Muir submitted "bordered on the incomprehensible", occurred over a two-week period in late-May and early-June last year.
On May 22, the six-month-old baby was taken to a doctor's clinic by her mother in an "unresponsive" state.
The court was told the mother "seemed unconcerned" at the clinic despite her daughter's dire condition, taking pictures of her little body as it lay there.
The baby was taken to Logan Hospital in a "comatose state", before being transferred to the Queensland Children's Hospital.
During this sequence, the mother "told lies to medical staff which frustrated their efforts," Mr Muir said.
On May 26, she created a "fake Facebook account based on her daughter's suffering", sending messages to the ex which "feigned ignorance as to the case (of her daughter's illness)," Mr Muir told the court.
The mother continued to lie to doctors, denying anyone in her home was on Ritalin or associated medication, when in fact another child of hers had ADHD and did take the medication.
On May 28, the baby was released from the ICU, only for her symptoms - agitation, high heart rate, insomnia, abnormal limb movements - to return almost instantly.
The mother had fed her daughter medication again, barely hours after her ICU discharge.
The baby was returned to ICU before the mother was finally arrested and had her phone and the medication seized on May 31, a day after it was determined by suspicious police, the Department of Child Safety and doctors that she should have no contact with the baby in hospital.
The baby was discharged from ICU on June 5 and has since made a full recovery with no expected long-term effects.
The mother was still using the fake Facebook account up to June 11 to try and contact her ex-partner.
Judge Craig Chowdhury was scathing in his assessment of the offending.
"You're very lucky you didn't kill your baby," he said.
However, noting her young age, lack of criminal history, attempts at rehabilitation and tragic upbringing, he made her parole eligible in 12 months, rather than the standard one-third mark of the five-year sentence.