Cruel father forced his own son, 12, to take a potentially lethal heroin substitute in his blackcurrant juice to help him pass a drugs test
- James Major, 40, wanted to test negatively for opiates and crack cocaine
- He threatened to break his son’s legs if he told anyone about taking the drugs
- His son fell down the stairs and woke up in hospital after taking the methadone
- Major admitted child cruelty and was sentenced to four years
James Major, 40, forced his son to take methadone so he could pass a drugs test
A drug addict who forced his son, 12, to take a potentially lethal heroin substitute and provide a urine sample so he could pass a drugs test has been jailed.
James Major, 40, from Cleethorpes, crushed methadone tablets into his son’s blackcurrant juice and threatened to break his legs if he told anyone.
The boy fell down some stairs and ended up in hospital ‘groggy’ and ‘lethargic’ after taking the drug, Grimsby Crown Court heard.
Major, who admitted child cruelty, wanted to test negatively for opiates and crack cocaine to qualify for drugs treatment, according to Grimsby Live.
He made his son take the methadone, prescribed by doctors for heroin addiction, after offering him money and calling him ‘mate’.
Major, who has convictions for 25 previous offences, then shouted at the young boy and made him urinate into a bottle and said he would be nothing to him if he told anyone.
Methadone is used for heroin addicts as a substitute for the drug but it can have life-threatening consquences
Major crushed the tablets into his son’s blackcurrant juice and threatened to break his legs if he told anyone about it
The father then left home and the boy was later found sprawled at the bottom of a staircase and woke up in hospital.
Nick Clive, prosecuting, said: ‘This defendant’s behaviour was to disguise the fact that he was still taking illegal substances that he should not have been taking.’
Major then confessed to his mother and said his son was ‘milking it’ and would be back to normal within 24 hours.
David Godfrey, mitigating, said: ‘It was an utterly foolish act, self-serving and desperate. He knows he may never be able to build bridges with his relationship with his teenage son.’
Judge John Thackray QC said: ‘Being a father is one of the greatest gifts in life, an unbelievable privilege, and you abused that gift in a deplorable way that put your son’s life and well-being in jeopardy.
‘I don’t detect a shred of remorse on your behalf.’
Major was sentenced to four years in prison but Judge Thackray said the father could have been facing a homicide charge if things had turned out differently.