Woman photographed toddler with Down's syndrome in washing machine 'because he loves it'

Police have found no evidence of wrongdoing

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The Independent Online

A woman who was questioned by police for photographing a toddler with Down’s syndrome inside a washing machine has told the people who reported her to have a “good look at their lives”.

Courtney Stewart posted the photo of the little boy playing on Facebook on Thursday, showing him curled up inside the machine’s drum with a hand holding the door almost shut.

Since it went online on Thursday, she has received online insults and had a stranger arrive on her doorstep in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, to call her a “f***ing nutter”.

In a response to the controversy, she wrote on Facebook: “Who phoned the police n said (the boy) was being abused in this picture for anybody that actually knows (him) they’ll know he loves washing machines so take a good look at your life first.”

Courtney-Stewart-1.jpg
Courtney Stewart

Ms Stewart told the Daily Record that the two -year-old, who was in her care at the time, climbed into the washing machine himself, adding that it was unplugged at the time.

“He is clearly laughing in the pictures,” she added.

“So I don't understand why somebody took that picture as – well, I don’t know what they took it as.

“What did they think I was doing to him? Taking him for a spin?”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland confirmed to The Independent that Ms Stewart was questioned by police officers at her home.

“Advice was given and the relevant checks were carried out,” he added, saying no evidence of any offence was found.

Children with Down's syndrome usually have learning disabilities, delayed development and may experience additional behavioural difficulties as a result of autism or ADHD.