May 2016

Mother jailed for poisoning daughter with painkillers in expressed breast milk


A mother who poisoned her one-year-old daughter by adding painkillers to the child’s milk so she would fall ill and be eligible for extra benefits has been jailed for seven years and two months.

Rose Jones, 30, repeatedly added high doses of tramadol into her own expressed breast milk and when she was caught blamed the child’s father, leading to him being arrested.

Jones’s daughter needed to be treated in hospital several times after suffering fits before doctors worked out she was being poisoned and the police were called in.

Officers found significant amounts of tramadol in two of the girl’s milk bottles and analysis showed it must have been added to the milk after it had been expressed. The child is said to have made a full recovery.

Jailing Jones at Plymouth crown court, Judge Ian Lawrie QC told her: “It’s hard to begin to take the view that any aspect of your behaviour qualifies for sympathy. Whilst there is no long-term damage done the point is you did cause harm and you know you caused her harm.

“I have little doubt from looking at both your history and your actions that you were in your own blunt and clumsy way making an effort to make your daughter’s condition such that it might help with your benefits claims.”

The judge added: “What we have here is not violence in its traditional sense, but in many ways it is perhaps worse. It is the administration of poison over a length of time; there is an element of persistence and almost calculation about this.”

Jones, a mother of eight, denied poisoning another of her children and the alleged offence was allowed to lie on file.

She burst into tears as she was led down handcuffed from the dock. Jones had claimed she gave the child tramadol to calm her down.

Jo Martin, prosecuting, said when she was first interviewed by police, Jones, who was addicted to tramadol at the time, denied she had poisoned her own daughter, saying the idea was “sickening” and “upsetting”.

She falsely claimed her former partner Shane Cruickshank was responsible for the poisoning and accused him of threatening to blow up her house and sending someone to stab her in the stomach. Cruickshank was arrested but exonerated.

Jones, of Plymouth, Devon, was re-arrested but maintained her innocence until shortly before her trial was due to begin when she admitted child cruelty and perverting the course of justice.

Martin added: “It is so hard to know why Rose Jones did this. One inference is she was doing it because of her addiction, that she could not help herself. Another inference is she was deliberately poisoning her child to seek sympathy and finance from the authorities.”

Cruickshank, said the false allegations have left him scarred for life. In a victim impact statement read to the court, he told how his life has changed since he was placed under suspicion. He now only has supervised access to his children.

He said: “She has ripped my life apart and caused me no end of stress. Words can’t describe the pain Rose has caused me, I feel I will be scarred for life because of her.”

May 2016

Mum faces jail for poisoning baby daughter by spiking breast milk with painkiller

Mum faces jail for poisoning baby daughter by spiking breast milk with painkiller

A mother faces jail after she admitting poisoning her baby daughter by putting a strong painkiller into her breast milk.

Rose Jones, 30, confessed to administering a poison ‘with intent to injure’ her one-year-old girl

She previously denied a second similar charge against her two-year-old daughter and prosecutors said this matter would lie on file.

Jones, of Keyham, Plymouth, Devon, put the Class C drug Tramadol into her expressed breast milk and gave it to her daughter between November 2014 and June 2015.

The charge against her other two-year-old daughter will remain on file.

Plymouth Crown Court also heard that Jones pretended her ex had started a small fire in her home – when in reality she had set it herself.

Jones had previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, admitting she had handed over a mobile phone which purported to show her ex-partner had poisoned the girls.

She pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice along with the charge of cruelty and possessing drugs.

Jones had also previously pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud, including one matter where she took someone else’s card and withdrew cash at an ATM.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC said the matter was ‘a complex case’ with a ‘complex defendant’.

He remanded Jones into custody, warning her she was ‘facing a significant period of custody’.

Jones will be sentenced at a hearing on May 19.