Father of poisoned toddler to face mother at her sentencing

The former partner of a woman being sentencing for poisoning their toddler plans to “look straight through her” in court tomorrow.

The woman, who has name suppression, admitted to poisoning her son on multiple occasions over an 11-day period in August 2019.

The child, who was 15 months old at that time, was left with brain damage after she fed him a concoction of chemicals through his feeding tube at hospital and mixed it with milk formula.

She is being sentenced tomorrow at the High Court in Auckland and the father of the child will be there to read a victim impact statement.

The child’s father believes it would be dangerous for their son to have any contact with her.

“You’ve got a dangerous person that could harm your child both mentally and physically,” he told the Herald.

“You’ve got someone that just about killed one of the children, poisoned him in two hospitals in front of people and it wasn’t until she was feeding directly into his tube that I notified the nurses and they cottoned right onto it.”

The man, who the Herald has agreed not to name, is reading a victim impact statement at his ex-partner’s sentencing tomorrow. When reading through his comments in advance, “raw emotions” boiled up.

But he said there won’t be any emotion towards her.

“She’s the mother of my kids but she’s just nothing to me.

“If I look at her in court, I’d just be looking straight through her.”

Court documents obtained by the Herald show the mother visited websites or Google searched almost 200 times throughout the offending, clicking on articles titled “child poisoning through eye drops” and “drugs that can kill toddlers because of accidental ingestion”.

The woman administered a combination of an ingredient found in non-prescription eye drops and her anti-depressant medication to the toddler at Dunedin Hospital, before he was airlifted to Starship Hospital. She continued the offending on multiple occasions at the children’s hospital in Auckland.

She stole the eye drops from the hospital pharmacy, hiding them in her clothes or handbag.

Her ex-partner had no explanation for her offending, but said “she’s definitely got a major manipulation side to her” and the past two years had been “a horror story”.

By poisoning her child the mother had put him at risk of brain damage, strokes,seizures and death from an overdose of medication, court documents show.

An MRI scan showed the boy had damage to three different parts of his brain and loss of tissue in all three locations.

But there is no sign of that affecting his health now, his father told the Herald.

“He’s going great. He’s absolutely acing everything.

“He’s so young there could be an underlying issue come up later…I’ve got fingers crossed that’s not going to be the case.”

The father wants to be truthful if his son asks questions about his mother’s offending against him when he’s older.

“I’m open and honest. He’ll be more than welcome to ask whatever questions he wants and get truthful answers,” he said.

In terms of his own reconciliation, the child’s father said he would “possibly” forgive his ex-partner but said “it was a tough one” to answer.

Tomorrow he’s looking for closure and justice for his son.

“I can’t take back what she’s done, so it’s about giving him the best life I can give him.”

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