A mother was acquitted after the New South Wales prosecutor admitted there’s not enough evidence.
Australian Mum Accused Of Using Fecal Injection On Son To Go Free
SYDNEY — A mother accused of injecting her son with the fecal matter was only brought to trial because of “wild speculation.”
However, the Crown prosecutor admitted on March 26 that there was not enough evidence to prove the charges.
“In 23 years as a Crown prosecutor, I’ve never in any trial (said) that there is reasonable doubt in relation to this matter,” said barrister Lou Lungo in the New South Wales District Court, Australia, in his closing submissions. “I can’t be any more forthright than that.”
The concession means the Blue Mountains mother, now 39, will be acquitted more than six years after being accused of administering fecal matter to her young son while he was 10 and in Sydney’s Westmead Hospital.
Pediatrician and infectious diseases specialist Professor David Isaacs sounded the alarm that something might have been injected into the boy’s bloodstream after a blood sample on Sept. 27, 2014, tested positive for e.coli and one other bowel organism.
It came after several sterile blood cultures and urine cultures were performed following his admission to the hospital on Sept. 2.
“It was unusual that the organisms would grow despite the son receiving antibiotics, and other explanations for the presence of e.coli did not make sense,” said Issacs.
Giving evidence to the court, Isaacs admitted that there were other scientific explanations for the sample result, including contamination of the sample.
But he said that in the context of the abnormal result and the boy’s previous admissions to the hospital, he thought that the mother had a factitious disorder, previously called Munchhausen syndrome.
Isaacs had previously missed a case of factitious disorder, and the child had died.
Bernie Hudson, an expert infectious diseases doctor, later said that “contamination of blood cultures could occur, and there was no evidence to rule it out”.
“The accused is here today only because of the speculation of one person, namely Isaacs,” said defense barrister Pauline David in her closing submissions.
“It was ‘somewhat wild speculation’ as there were commonly known, obvious and available explanations for a positive isolated blood culture,” she said.
Several doctors raised the possibility of innocent explanations for the blood culture result.
“But those possibilities were quite stunningly and persistently ignored by other health professionals at Westmead and by (Family & Community Services) and also by the police,” said David.
“Isaacs’ opinion may have been clouded due to the ‘tragic loss of a child’ earlier in his career. The court had earlier heard that nurses heard the boy ask his mother, ‘why are you poisoning me?’ and ‘what have you done to my cannula this time?’” Lungo told Judge Justin Smith in the court.
He later informed police that his mother had not poisoned him, and when he was sick, he claimed “random stuff, my brain goes all weird”.
The woman’s four children were removed from her care following the accusation.
(Edited by Amrita Das and Pallavi Mehra)