NSW girl vows to regain custody of youngsters after being cleared of poisoning son with faeces | New South Wales
A New South Wales mother wants her children to know she is “not a bad person” after being cleared of poisoning her young son after a six-year trial on suspicion of a single doctor.
The 39-year-old Blue Mountains woman will now attempt to regain joint custody of her four children who were allegedly taken out of her care.
“I just want my kids to know that mom isn’t a bad person,” the woman said Tuesday after the NSW District Court found her not guilty. “I just want to get her back.”
Pediatrician Prof. David Isaacs raised concerns that the mother injected her son with feces in 2014 after a blood test tested positive for E. coli and another bacterium found in the gut.
The then nine-year-old boy had been admitted to Westmead Children’s Hospital for asthma, but developed symptoms that suggested a bacterial infection. Nurses heard the boy say, “Mom, what are you trying to put into my cannula?” when one of them checked the drop three days before the sample was taken.
The next day he was heard screaming, “Why are you doing this and poisoning me?” When his mother was in the room, the court heard. Previous blood and urine samples were sterile.
Isaacs thought it very likely that the bacteria were deliberately introduced into the boy’s bloodstream, and feared that the woman had imposed another factual disorder – previously known as Munchausen Syndrome.
When interrogated during the weeklong trial, Isaacs informed the court that he had previously missed a case of disorder.
“If I get it wrong, the child dies,” he said. “I missed it once in my life and the child died and the mother later told me what she did to this child and I will never miss it again if I can change it.”
Another expert witness, microbiologist Bernie Hudson, told the court that the blood culture could be contaminated in the laboratory or when it was collected.
In Friday’s final statement, prosecutor Lou Lungo admitted that the charges could not be proven beyond doubt.
“Because of that child’s tragic loss of life many years ago [Isaacs] was super vigilant … and maybe your honor would find that clouded his mind, ”Lungo said.
There wasn’t enough evidence that the boy had been injected with feces or that his mother had, Judge Justin Smith ruled Tuesday. The son had been insane and confused in the hospital and repeatedly denied to the police that his mother had poisoned him.
The woman cried when the judge told her she could go.
“The only thing that was administered in this case was a gross injustice against the defendant for more than six and a half years,” said the woman’s defense attorney, Pauline David, in court.
“She lost her children … she lost financially … she lost her ability to be a nurse in her job … and she almost lost her mind too.”
In a statement from her lawyer, the woman criticized Isaacs. The mother later said that the “terrible” experience resulted in a complete nervous breakdown and months in a mental health department – where she underwent 20 electroconvulsive therapies. She no longer trusts doctors or hospitals.
She had only contacted her children in the last six months and missed their formative years, she said. “Now I just want to focus on being able to see my children.”
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