Jail for mother who killed child with salt

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The Independent Online
A mother who deprived her baby of sufficient food and eventually poisoned the child by giving her huge amounts of salt was jailed for five years yesterday.

Karen Fox, 35, of Telford, Shropshire, was convicted by a Stafford Crown Court jury last October of the manslaughter of her daughter Heddwen and cruelty towards another child. Sentence was delayed for reports.

The jury heard that Fox, a mother of three, severely restricted the 21-month-old Heddwen's growth by preventing her from eating properly.

While Heddwen was receiving treatment, Fox interfered by periodically administering salt, leading to the child's death.

It was thought Fox may have been affected by "Munchausen's syndrome by proxy", a condition causing someone to inflict injury on another in order to draw attention to themselves.

Passing sentence in London yesterday, Mr Justice Keene said he had considered imposing an indeterminate life term in the light of a psychiatrist's report indicating that Fox might be a danger to the public.

"Although I am not entirely satisfied that you will not be a danger, a life sentence would not be justified," he told her.

He directed that psychiatric reports should be sent to the Home Office and the Parole Board.