East Yorkshire mother ‘fed’ daughter sedatives

Published: Wednesday 30th November 2016 by The News Editor

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An East Yorkshire mother fed sedatives to her four-year-old daughter so she wouldn’t get in the way of her love life, a court has heard.

Poppy Widdison died in June 2013 after suffering a cardiac arrest at the home of Michala Pyke’s partner John Rytting, a jury at Hull Crown Court heard.

Test carried out after her death found she had ingested drugs for a period of up to six months before she died, including sedatives, heroin, methadone and ketamine, the jury was told.

Opening the case against Pyke and Rytting, who are both accused of child cruelty, David Gordon said text messages between the pair referenced Poppy having a “blue Smartie” and going to sleep. Mr Gordon said this was a reference to the sedative diazepam, in the form of a blue tablet.

The prosecutor said: “We say Pyke and Rytting, the defendants, are just wanting to get on with their love life, wanting to enjoy each other’s company and it may be this young girl was something of an encumbrance.”

Mr Gordon said the text messages could give an indication of Pyke’s attitude towards her daughter: “She regarded her child, her own daughter, as something of a nuisance and interfering with Miss Pyke’s enjoyment of her relationship with Mr Rytting.”

The court heard the drugs didn’t contribute to Poppy’s death, although the exact cause is not known. But experts agreed there was a “long period of ill-treatment and neglect by the grossly inappropriate administration of various drugs to the child by the defendants”.

Drugs were found in Rytting’s house after a police search.

Both defendants have pleaded guilty to child cruelty by allowing Poppy to be accommodated in a house where prescribed and controlled drugs were unsecured and within reach of the child.

Pyke has also pleaded guilty to child cruelty by emotional abuse and the court heard that neighbours told police they heard Pyke threatening Poppy.

Both defendants deny one count of child cruelty by encouraging Poppy to ingest prescription and/or controlled drugs and one count of child cruelty by assault causing bruising.

Pyke also denies two drugs charges of possessing methadone with intent to supply and supplying the same drug.

Rytting denies possessing cannabis with intent to supply but has admitted one count of importing drugs and two counts of supplying controlled drugs.

The trial continues.

Copyright Press Association 2016

Published: Wednesday 30th November 2016 by The News Editor

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