A woman from Bognor has been given a 13-year prison sentence for a series of cruelty and assault offences against her baby son, after an investigation by detectives from Sussex Police.
The 29-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced at Southampton Crown Court on Friday (5 June), having been convicted on 28 February, of seven offences against her son, then aged under two between 2015 and 2018; four offences of child cruelty, two offences of grievous bodily harm and one of attempted grievous bodily harm.
The prosecution, authorised by the CPS, followed an investigation by detectives from the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit.
Detective Constable Chris Smith of the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit said; “This was a distressing case of Fabricated Induced Illness, also known as ‘Munchausen by proxy’.
“The mother made up a series of alleged health problems that she said her son suffered from after he was born prematurely, and drugged and ill-treated him over a period of four years.
“This began to come to light when she was caught on CCTV in a ward at Southampton Childrens’ Hospital, deliberately mistreating him while he was there having his health assessed.
“She can be seen hitting his head against the hard floor on four occasions in a very calm and measured way.
“As a result enquiries began and we were informed. His mother tried to claim he suffered from nosebleeds to cover up the injuries.
“We discovered that she had also fractured his leg and hit or shaken him, causing a bleed on the brain, had made up symptoms causing him to be given medication and oxygen he did not need. She also poisoned him with sugar solution, causing him dangerously high glucose levels, and underfed him.
“The boy, now aged four, is currently in foster care and is doing well, his health problems have virtually disappeared.”