BRISBANE – An Australian woman who deliberately poisoned her four-year-old daughter with cancer drugs then detailed the girl's fight for life on Facebook to garner attention for herself was Wednesday jailed for six years.
The 23-year-old, who cannot be named to protect her daughter's identity, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm in what Judge Tony Rafter called an incomprehensible breach of trust. "You must have been aware of the serious harm you were causing to your daughter," he said in sentencing, the Brisbane Courier-Mail reported.
The Brisbane District Court heard the woman deliberately made her daughter ill by feeding her chemotherapy drugs bought online and set up a web page saying her daughter needed a bone marrow transplant. Prosecutor Glen Cash told the court the mother gave the child drugs over a nine-month period to attract attention to herself.
"She procured toxic drugs ... and administered them to her daughter knowing they would cause her (serious) harm," he said. The drugs caused the child, who did not have cancer, to suffer life-threatening bone marrow failure last year.
Cash said health professionals suspected the young girl was being poisoned and their suspicions were confirmed when police searched the women's home and found a pill crusher and receipts for the drug Cyclophosphamide.
Barrister Catherine Morgan, for the mother, said the woman suffered a rare mental disorder known as factitious disorder by proxy, whereby a person deliberately produces or exaggerates symptoms in someone in their care.
The court heard the girl, who was close to death last year, was now being cared for by her grandparents and had made a good recovery.