Mother gets 3 years in prison after baby dies from GHB poisoning
A 26-year-old woman was found guilty of causing the death of her eight-month-old daughter, Yara. The girl died in October 2020 from an overdose of the drug, GHB. The court in Lelystad sentenced the mother to three years in prison and mandatory psychiatric institutionalization for the drug-induced death.
The court ruled there was no evidence to support the allegation that the drug-addicted woman, who lives in Lelystad, deliberately administered GHB to the baby. It was not determined how the girl ingested the drugs, but the mother’s reckless actions did lead to the child’s death, the court concluded in pronouncing her guilty. She took the drugs into the house and used them there, while she was the only person to care for the child.
The woman took GHB on the day in question, October 1, 2020, at the end of the afternoon in the kitchen of her home. She placed the bottle with the drugs in it on the same shelf in her kitchen as the daughter's drinking bottle.
In the evening, she noticed that the child was unwell. A few hours later, she saw that the child's condition had seriously deteriorated. She called 112, and emergency services workers were dispatched to the home where they tried to revive the girl. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition. At the time, she had a heartbeat, but was not breathing on her own. She died on October 3, 2020.
Initially, the baby’s death was not viewed as suspicious. “But when autopsy results became known a month later, it turned out that Yara's urine had a very high GHB level,” the court said.
Behavioral experts identified both a drug problem and a psychological disorder in the woman and believed that she cannot return to society untreated. The court agreed with the expert opinion. After her prison sentence and psychiatric treatment, the Public Prosecution Service can monitor the woman through measures restrict her freedom and can influence her decision-making, the court ruled.
The Public Prosecution Service, which had alleged the mother deliberately poisoned her daughter, had demanded five years in prison and institutionalization under certain conditions.
“It has been proven that the mother's actions ultimately led to death,” the court said in a statement. “The mother knew about the dangers of drugs and yet - with a baby in the house - she used drugs, including GHB. She did this in the kitchen where Yara's bottle was also kept. She acted recklessly and is guilty of [causing] Yara's death.”
Reporting by ANP