In March, a two-year-old girl was killed after drinking methadone that her heroin-addict mother kept stored in the child’s Tom and Jerry cartoon cup.
Mirror reports that Michelle King, 29, and Barry Jones, 41, were prescribed methadone, which they reportedly kept in the toddler’s Fruit Shoot bottles. Preston Crown Court heard that King would sell methadone to fellow druggies who would visit the house in order to fund her and Jones’ habits.
The couple was reported to be daily Class A users.
Around midnight on March 4, an ambulance was called to the couple’s home when their 2-year-old daughter Sophie was reported to be not breathing.
Daily Mail reports that paramedics found the girl covered in vomit in the Blackpool house.
Prosecutor Jeremy Grout Smith said that cops found a Tom and Jerry beaker hidden in the yard, as well as incriminating text messages sent from King to Jones, in which she told him about the methadone.
A police search of the house revealed 146ml of methadone—approximately ¼ of a pint—hidden in the back yard. Grout Smith said that “five milliliters is sufficient to harm a child.”
Grout Smith said that Jones “and the mother have been users of heroin and cocaine for some years and were habitually taking these drugs at the time of Sophie’s death.”
“Michelle King was prescribed a drug called methadone which is a heroin replacement, it’s a liquid and Sophie died from drinking methadone,” Grout Smith said.
Grout Smith went on to say that “the prosecution say that Sophie died because of carelessness and neglect of her parents.”
Furthermore, Grout Smith said that a scientific analysis of Sophie’s hair revealed traces of four separate drugs; the young girl was found to have been exposed to methadone, heroin, cocaine, and diazepam over a period of several months.
Jones has been charged with manslaughter, and an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a child plus a child cruelty charge. Mirror reports that he has pleaded not guilty and “remained calm and emotionless” during the start of his trial today.
King pleaded guilty to manslaughter last week.