A mother-of-two who poisoned her toddler with 20 grams of salt wept as a judge jailed for her two years.
The 29-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, deliberately gave her 18-month-old daughter a dangerous amount of sodium chloride in April last year.
Children her daughter’s age should consume no more than two grams of a salt a day.
On the day of the incident the mother googled appropriate levels of salt to give to a child.
She also sent pictures of her daughter’s ‘rapidly deteriorating state’ to friends and family but refused to call doctors, her trial at Truro Crown Court heard.
A 29-year-old mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, deliberately gave her 18-month-old daughter a dangerous amount of sodium chloride in April last year, Truro Crown Court heard. File image used
Both children were taken into care after her arrest and she lost her job as a charity worker.
Sentencing her in Cornwall yesterday, Judge Simon Carr said her actions were ‘inexplicable’.
He said: ‘You were convicted by a jury of the extremely grave offence of administering a poisonous or noxious substance, in this case salt, so as to endanger life.
‘Overwhelming evidence on that day shows that you gave her a significant amount of salt.
‘What makes all of this so inexplicable is that everything else I have heard about you shows you as a caring mother.
‘You still deny what you did to this day. It is little short of a miracle that [the child] lived.
‘An aggravating factor is that, not long before, you had searched for salt levels in children.
‘And, having administered the salt, you did not seek medical treatment.’
The child has now made a full recovery after drinking the sodium chloride in ‘drink or runny food’ form.
Prosecutor Peter Coombe told the jury: ‘Medical experts say that between 21 and 24 grams were administered and this has to be done by force feeding in a drink or runny food.
‘There is no question of the child being able to consume such a quantity of salt and the only person in a position to do so that day was the defendant.
‘Children never voluntarily eat or ingest such dangerous levels of salt because of the taste and extreme nausea it would cause.’
He added it would have been disguised in something like milk before being given to the victim.
The woman was jailed for four years at Truro Crown Court in Cornwall (pictured) yesterday
Jason Beal, representing the mother, told the court proceedings had had a ‘lasting effect’ on her, after she has had both her children removed from her full-time care.
Mr Beal said: ‘The defendant could have avoided draining court procedures by pleading guilty. These proceedings have had a lasting effect on her.
‘She has been separated from full time care of both of her children. She is able to see them both, but in a supervised provision every six weeks.
‘And of course she recognises that a conviction currently stands against her for the long term care of both of the children.’
He also added that she has lost her job working with a charity, saying: ‘This is a woman who has worked generally all through her life, generally in care facilities.’
The woman was given a sentence of four years, to serve a minimum of two. She sobbed as she was led out of the dock by police officers.