Couple killed child with salt, court told

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The Independent Online

A couple killed a three-year-old boy they were hoping to adopt by poisoning him with salt, a court was told yesterday. Ian and Angela Gay, from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, were accused of feeding Christian Blewitt up to four teaspoons of salt after he failed to meet their expectations.

Christian and his younger brother and sister were placed with the defendants as prospective parents in November 2002.

Julie Macur QC, for the prosecution, told Worcester Crown Court that the boy was admitted to hospital in a critical condition less than two months later. She said tests revealed excess levels of sodium and chlorine in his blood, equivalent to 40g of salt, and that he had suffered a brain haemorrhage. He died four days later.

She told the court: "Mr Gay told police when interviewed that Christian was a liability and not too bright. This is an indication that the children had to fit their lifestyle and Christian did not come up to proof." Ian Gay, 37, and Angela Gay, 38, deny murder, manslaughter and cruelty to a child. They are accused of causing Christian to collapse by feeding him poisonous levels of salt and by shaking him or hitting his head on a firm surface.

Miss Macur said that a post-mortem examination revealed 11 areas of bruising to the top of Christian's head, which were not apparent externally.

She said that the cause of death was swelling of the brain due to a blunt-force injury.

The trial continues.