Sally Dent and Shaun Binfield deny manslaughter of boy, 2, who drank methadone
A two-year-old died after drinking methadone from a child’s beaker at his parents’ home in Belper, a court has heard.
Riley Pettipierre died in hospital after drinking the drug from a beaker left on some bedroom drawers at his home last year.
His parents Sally Dent and Shaun Binfield have gone on trial at Nottingham Crown charged with their son’s manslaughter.
They are also charged with cruelty to a person under the age of 16 as it is alleged they failed to keep methadone and other drugs out of the reach of the child.
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They both deny all the charges.
Opening her case for the prosecution, Yvonne Coen QC told a jury of seven men and five women that Dent, who repeatedly dabbed her eyes with a tissue in the dock, was struggling to get over a heroin habit.
Dent has a history of drug use going back many years and is being prescribed methadone to try to rid her of the habit, Ms Coen told the court.
A child’s beaker with methadone was left on a set of drawers in his parents bedroom where he also slept, so it would be “within easy reach” of his mother, Ms Coen alleged.
Dent awoke to find Riley unconscious in bed next to her and called 999 on March 13 last year.
She described her son to police as “a gorgeous little boy” and a “loveable rogue who got up to the usual mischief”, the court heard.
“Not only would (the beaker) have attracted him to it like a little bee to a honeypot but it was also within easy reach of him,” she said.
The trial continues.