A Unanderra woman accused of drugging a four-year-old boy with prescription medication has indicated she will fight the charges against her.
The woman, 30, is in a de facto relationship with the boy’s mother, 29, and helps care for him.
Both women have been charged with failing to provide the child with the necessities of life, after he allegedly attended hospital on October 11 in a state of reduced consciousness.
Doctors allegedly found the boy severely underweight for his age, showing signs of previous upper limb fractures. They told police he had a restricted prescribed drug in his system.
Court documents show the mother’s partner has since been charged with giving the boy Temazepam (a sleeping aid/sedative) and medicine from the Amitriptyline group, often used to treat mental/mood problems such as depression, “so as to endanger life”.
Police will allege the child was drugged with prescription medication not prescribed to him on numerous occasions.
Both women appeared briefly before Port Kembla local court on Wednesday morning.
Mr Paine, lawyer for the boy’s mother, said his client had received scant information from authorities about the police claims against her until that morning. A seven-page document outlining the allegations had not been received before then, he said.
“She only gets that when she turns up to court today and in the meantime her child has been taken out of her care,” he said.
The boy is in the care of the Department of Family and Community Services.
Mr Holt, lawyer for the woman’s partner, indicated his client would enter pleas of not guilty to both charges (use poison so as to endanger life, and fail to provide for child cause danger of serious injury) once the matter reaches the DPP.
An apprehended violence order is also in place for the boy’s protection.
Both women shielded their faces and ran from waiting media as they departed court. They cannot be identified, to prevent identification of the child.
The matters are to be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions and will return to Wollongong Local Court on February 20.