A mother poisoned her daughter by plying her with a cocktail of drugs obtained by touring the clinics of multiple doctors until she was prescribed the medication she had decided the teenager needed, a court heard today.
In what is believed to be the first case of its kind to come before the English courts, Mary Kidson is accused of endangering her child’s life by giving her medication prescribed by a doctor for a hormonal illness which prosecutors allege the girl never had.
A jury at Worcester Crown Court was told that Ms Kidson, 55, sought treatment for the girl with a Belgian specialist. She then allegedly gave her two hormones and the steroid hydrocortisone during a two-year period between 2010 and March last year. Prosecutors allege that the girl, who is now 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons, needed none of the medication given to her.
The court heard that an analysis of Ms Kidson’s computer revealed internet searches which may have prompted a mistaken belief that her daughter had an endocrinal or hormonal imbalance.
Jurors were told that when experts consulted the teenager’s medical records following her mother’s arrest last year they found evidence of “doctor shopping” – the practice of visiting numerous medical professionals until one provides the diagnosis sought.
John Causer, prosecuting, told the court: “There is no evidence that [the daughter] had an endocrinal or hormonal disease. She was subjected to multiple and unnecessary investigations and examinations. Her health and emotional well-being have been harmed by being shopped around for inaccurate and unnecessary diagnoses.”
Ms Kidson faces three separate charges under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act that she “unlawfully and maliciously administered a poison or other destructive and noxious things so as thereby to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm”.
It is believed to be the first time that the legislation has been used to prosecute someone suspected of poisoning by administering hormones.
Ms Kidson denies the three charges of administering a poison to endanger life. The court heard that Ms Kidson had consulted a specialist, Dr Thierry Hertoghe, in 2010 and began giving her daughter hydrocortisone tablets in December that year. The daily dose – 45mg – was three times the recommended level and the teenager had no condition which justified it being given to her, Mr Causer said.
The prosecutor added that once the dosage was discovered, doctors had to slowly withdraw the drug because suddenly to stop it would have been “extremely dangerous”.
In 2011, the female hormone oestrogen was added to the medication list, causing the daughter to grow at an unnecessary rate, jurors were told. The addition of thyroid gland extract in 2012 also exposed the teenager to the risk of bone fractures and heart disease, it was alleged. Mr Causer said there was no suggestion that Ms Kidson deliberately “set out to harm her daughter”. But he added: “The doctors’ conclusion is that the treatments given were unnecessary and potentially dangerous.” The case continues.Reuse content