An Illawarra mother whose toddler was hospitalised after eating a stash of ice inside a home at Koonawarra last year has admitted to a child neglect charge in court.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty on Monday to a single charge of exposing a child under seven years to serious injury.
She also pleaded guilty to two drug possession charges relating to cannabis and methylamphetamine found in her bedroom.
However, the 27-year-old was cleared of a further three drug possession charges, including 0.08 grams of ice, after the magistrate found he couldn’t rule out the illicit substances belonging to her drug dealing ex-boyfriend.
He was really hot, he didn’t look normal, his pupils were huge- The defendant's ex-boyfriend, who found the toddler that morning
The court heard the woman’s then-boyfriend went into her bedroom on the morning of January 25 last year to discover the 21-month-old boy sweating heavily.
“I picked him up and said to her [his mother] has he got a virus or something,” the man told Wollongong Local Court on Monday.
“He was really hot, he didn’t look normal, his pupils were huge.”
The man denied expressing fear to his then-partner that the boy might have ingested a drug. He also denied his hasty exit from the house was because he was trying to distance himself from any potential investigation.
The child was subsequently taken to hospital where blood tests confirmed he had enough methamphetamine in his system to cause “serious injury”.
The woman was charged with a string of offences in August.
In court on Monday, the woman’s ex-boyfriend confirmed he and his ex-partner used drugs when they were together and that he had dealt ice to fund his own habit.
However, he denied ever leaving drugs at the woman’s house, saying he couldn’t afford for them to go missing or for someone to use them.
In dismissing the drug charges against the woman, Magistrate Brett Thomas said he couldn’t find beyond reasonable doubt that the illegal substances had been in her possession at the time, despite the fact they were all located in her bedroom.
He noted other people, including her ex-boyfriend, had access to the bedroom.
The woman will face court again next Tuesday for a brief mention of her matter ahead of a sentencing hearing on May 30.
She is not subject to any bail.