Summary:

Paragraph 5 reads: "But when Joshua returned home, the young mother, who was on anti-depressants, gave him the salt - possibly because she could not cope with caring for him and did not want him to come home, Mr Smith told the jury."

Third paragraph from the end reads: "Mr Smith said: 'When she was interviewed, Marianne was to say of herself that she felt a sudden change at the time she required the additional medication.'"

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006420675,00.html

Mum on murder charge

 
By ONLINE REPORTER
September 14, 2006
 
A MOTHER murdered her sick baby with a 'salt overdose' a court today heard because she 'couldn't cope'.

Marianne Williams, 24, of Wiltshire, is accused of posioning 16-month-old Joshua Taylor.

QC Richard Smith, prosecuting at Winchester Crown Court, said Williams, who denies the murder charge knew the danger when she fed her son the equivalent of more than three teaspoons of salt.

The mother had seen the effects of too much sodium in his system just days earlier, when the child, who was born prematurely with failing kidneys, had been rushed to hospital.

But when Joshua returned home, the young mother, who was on anti-depressants, gave him the salt - possibly because she could not cope with caring for him and did not want him to come home, Mr Smith told the jury.

Joshua was taken to hospital on February 24 with very high levels of sodium in his body and died three days later.

Mr Smith said: "That fatal condition did not occur, say the Crown, in any way naturally.

"Joshua had in effect been poisoned with a sodium, salt if you like, overdose."

Joshua was born 12 weeks prematurely  weighing just 2lb 10oz with a number of medical problems including small kidneys.

His twin had died in the womb.

He spent much of his early life in hospital and was gradually allowed on home visits.

Mr Smith said Williams learnt of the dangerous consequences of a salt overdose in February when Joshua was rushed to hospital suffering from vomiting, lethargy, diarrhoea, dehydration and a high sodium reading.

He added: "What Marianne Williams learnt on February 5 and in the days that follow when the child was in the high dependency unit was that to give a child sodium or for a child to have in its body excessive sodium will bring about very real dangers to that child’s wellbeing."

After taking him home on February 23, he was back in hospital the next morning.

Mr Smith said: "Overnight of that discharge, Marriane Williams had administered a lethal amount of sodium to her son."

Joshua died three days later from abnormally high levels of sodium in the blood.

Mr Smith told the jury they had to decide whether Joshua had become naturally dehydrated or deliberately poisoned.

He admitted there was no clear motive for Williams to kill her son.

Mr Smith said: "When she was interviewed, Marianne was to say of herself that she felt a sudden change at the time she required the additional medication."

Mr Smith said Williams had said: "I felt I couldn't cope, didn't want Joshua to come home, couldn't cope with his problems, had enough."

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.