Tests showed Riley, 2, was exposed to Class A drugs
A TWO-YEAR-OLD boy alleged to have died after drinking methadone was exposed to a number of different "potentially lethal drugs", a court heard.
Riley Pettipierre fell ill at his home in Kilbourne Road, Belper, on March 13 last year. He was taken to hospital but later died.
His parents, Sally Dent, 33, and Shaun Binfield, 45, are accused of the manslaughter of the two-year-old boy.
Speaking at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday, Yvonne Coen, prosecuting, said that after the couple were arrested a search was carried out and drugs and paraphernalia were found at the property.
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"Some of which would have been accessible to a curious and lively toddler such as Riley," she added.
The court heard how syringes were found under the sink of the flat, one of which was later tested and found to contain heroin. It was also claimed that cannabis was found at the top of the kitchen cupboard, as well as in an oven glove hanging on a wall unit and in the bottom of a glass vase containing artificial flowers.
Ms Coen said a bottle containing 33ml of methadone was found in a box at the top of a wardrobe in the bedroom.
Samples of Riley's hair were also examined for drugs. Ms Coen said: "The testing that was done with Riley's hair found that he had been exposed to a number of different potentially lethal drugs including cocaine, methadone and heroin."
But she said it was not possible to say how much of each, how they came to be on his body or on how many occasions. She said: "Riley's parents, we suggest, failed him in the most serious way by not keeping him safe from drugs. To leave a toxic drug in a child's beaker within reach was a final and fatal act of gross negligence by the parents."
Dent, who was on a methadone programme, is alleged to have prepared two vials of methadone to sell on the evening of March 12, decanting a little out of each into a child's beaker.
The beaker was then moved around the home. Her son is alleged to have drunk between 10ml and 20ml of methadone. He was found lifeless in bed with her the following morning.
Both defendants were medically examined after their arrest. Dent was found to have methadone, cocaine and heroin in her system while Binfield had cannabis in his body. The court heard how, when interviewed, Dent had said she would "never give methadone to Riley" because she knew it was dangerous.
Binfield is alleged to have told a social worker in April 2012 that he was "very close" to Riley and would often take him out for walks.
The couple are charged with manslaughter and cruelty to a person under 16 years. The trial continues.