I'm a good mum, says drug addict Sally Dent accused over Riley's death
A DRUG addict mother whose toddler died after allegedly drinking her methadone told police she was "a good mum" who had made "a stupid, stupid mistake".
Sally Dent and Shaun Binfield, of Belper, are both accused of manslaughter following the death of two-year-old Riley Pettipierre.
Dent was on a methadone treatment programme and it is alleged that Riley drank the substance after his mother put it into a child's beaker.
Yesterday she sobbed in the dock as Nottingham Crown Court heard details of her interviews with police officers.
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The jury was told she was arrested just minutes after hearing that Riley had died. She told police she loved her son, saying: "It's a stupid, stupid mistake I made. Ask anybody, I'm a good mum."
She described it as "just a tragic accident", adding "I shouldn't have put it in the cup."
Parents Dent, 33, and Binfield, 45, of Kilbourne Road, both deny manslaughter and a second charge of cruelty to a person under 16.
Dent is alleged to have poured part of her dose of methadone into a child's beaker on the evening of March 12 – because it was the first container to hand.
The court heard she initially told police she put it on top of a cupboard in the bedroom. But she later admitted asking Binfield to move the beaker so that it was easier for her to reach during the night. She told police he put it on top of a stack of CDs on a chest of drawers. Riley is alleged to have drunk some of the methadone.
The court heard how Dent had initially woken up about 8am on March 13 and then gone back to sleep alone.
When she awoke again at 10.30am Riley was lying next to her in the bed.
She told police: "His lips looked a bit tinted, like a purply colour, but he sleeps funny, with his mouth open, so I didn't think anything about it."
Then she and Binfield realised the methadone was no longer on the chest of drawers.
She told police: "He (Binfield) just screamed and said 'no no'.
"I looked at Riley again and his lips were all blue."
She also told police: "It was horrible. I keep seeing it in my head. I cannot cry no more, why can I not cry any more? Nothing will come out. I feel so empty."
Dent called an ambulance and Riley was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The court heard that Dent told police her son was "a gorgeous little boy – a lovable rogue".
In her interviews with officers she told them she had injected heroin and smoked crack cocaine in the kitchen of her home the night before Riley's death.
She was asked if she had ever given her son methadone and she replied: "No, no, I wouldn't dare because it's dangerous."
Earlier this week consultant forensic toxicologist Julie Evans said that tests done on samples of Riley's hair showed it was likely he had ingested drugs during the last four months of his life.
The trial continues.