Mother Jailed for Soaking Dummy in Methadone

To the average person, being a parent means loving and caring for their child and of great importance when caring for such a small person is that they protect them from harm.  A mother from Edinburgh forgot all of this and threw common sense out of the window when she allowed her child to come into contact with a dangerous drug but to make matters even worse, this mother actually gave the drug to her child herself!

In November 2008, twenty nine year old Susan Taylor from Leith in Scotland put her ten week old baby’s dummy into methadone, soaking the teat in the liquid in order to stop him from crying.  While watching the television she suddenly realised that the baby was not breathing and that he had a blue colour to his lips, an ambulance was called for and he was immediately transported to Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children where he was taken to the ICU for treatment.

Susan, after admitting the charges against her was sentenced to a jail term for three years but her sentence has only just been reported as her partner, twenty eight year old Lynn Cowan was also facing prosecution as she did not inform the paramedics about the drug when she knew it had been given.  Lynn received a ten month sentence.

The women, who both suffer with drug related problems, had this tiny child in their care and thought it was acceptable to use this drug as a pacifier for their child.  Susan admitted that she would ‘roll’ her baby’s dummy around the cup which held her methadone, something that she took on a daily basis.

Susan Duff, the defence advocate for Susan Taylor, told the Court that Susan was extremely unsettled by her baby crying and did not give him the drug with the intention of harming him in any way but the Judge disagreed and stated that her behaviour was reckless.

Professor Robin Braithwaite, an expert in poisons told the Judge that the sweet drug could be extremely dangerous to children and that even half a teaspoon could cause the death of a child.  He went on to state that in this case the child was lucky that he received medical attention in time.

Morag Jack, the Advocate Deputy told Edinburgh Sheriff Court that the baby boy, when examined, had a very large quantity of methadone in his system and at this stage they were unsure as to any long term damage that may have been caused.

In this case, the child was very lucky to survive unlike Holly, a fourteen month old baby from Gloucestershire whose parents, twenty seven year old Bonny Richards and thirty one year old Davies gave the drug to her several times causing her death in January 2009.  After Holly’s death, the couple admitted to the charge of cruelty but their manslaughter charges were dropped by the Bristol Crown Court.


Usually used by addicts addicted to heroin, this synthetic drug was developed in 1937 in Germany.  Its intention is to ‘wean’ the user off heroin by stabilising their withdrawal symptoms and sometimes, if taken in higher qualities, can block out the ‘high’ that users would get from such drugs as heroin or morphine.

It is used the world over but different countries use it for different purposes.  It will not help its users to overcome alcohol or cocaine.

This mother already had her own drug problem to deal with and although she says she had no intention of harming her child I find it disgusting that she actually thought it would not damage such a young baby?  She quite obviously has used hard drugs in the past and Methadone is used as a synthetic replacement so why did she not know it would be harmful?  Stupidity and selfishness springs to my mind but at least the child survived and will hopefully not have to live with any adverse effects!