Barry grandmother jailed after giving child Valium tablet

By AJ Sicluna in Crime

A child found by the police in a house in Barry appeared to be lifeless after his grandmother had given him street-bought Valium, it was stated at Cardiff Crown Court.

The woman involved, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of administering the sedative, and was jailed for nine months.

The child’s mother admitted five charges of neglecting the infant and was also jailed for nine months, but the sentence was suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work.

The grandmother was told by Judge Philip Harris-Jenkins:?“You showed no remorse or insight into the effect on that child.”

Prosecutor Mike Hammett said that on June 3 last year, police went to an address in Barry after a disturbance was reported.

The premises were in darkness and it appeared no one was there.

But they found a child in bed who appeared to be lifeless. He was eventually roused and taken to a place of safety.

It was later revealed that the grandmother had been taking Valium and had given some to the child. Also present when the drug was given was the mother.

The court heard that the house was dirty and in a state of disarray.

The mother was said to have a conviction for criminal damage and the grandmother for possessing drugs, handling stolen property, violent disorder and battery.

Alex Greenwood, for the grandmother, said:?“All this occurred at a time of great distress and emotional turbulence.

“On the day in question, she had taken alcohol and prescription drugs. In her induced state, she gave a small portion of Valium to that young person who fell asleep.

“She maintains her innocence.”

He said she had had a chaotic start in life and had been the victim of crime.

“Prison will have a great effect on her and she will lose her home.”

Adam Sharp, for the mother, said she had worked that day and had celebrated her mother’s birthday.

“Regrettably, she took some Valium and was complicit in the child taking the tablet. She feels ashamed and acknowledges the wrongdoing.”

He added:?“She has grasped the nettle and understands what she did. She would benefit from a structured intervention with help.”

The Judge said the child was “an engaging little boy.”

He told the pair:?“Both of you placed your own needs over the child’s safety. He was taken to a safe place and was not physically hurt.

“Neither of you was in a fit state to look after the child and the condition of the home was filthy. There was evidence of long-term neglect of the child and the risk of harm to the child was high.

“The Valium had been bought on the street and could have contained anything. There was high culpability.”

Each was ordered to pay £100 court surcharge.

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