Berkshire

Reading woman detained for trying to smother boy, 13

A woman who admitted attempting to murder a 13-year-old boy by trying to smother him, has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Jane Rogers, 43, from Tilehurst in Reading, had given the boy four drinks containing vodka before she tried to smother him in May, the court heard.

The boy managed to push her off and phoned 999.

When police arrived they found Rogers had swallowed a quantity of anti-freeze in an attempt to take her own life.

Reading Crown Court heard that she told officers she was in debt after leaving her job and being let down by a new employer.

'Can get better'

Nigel Daly, defending, said she had personal difficulties that emerged from a serious assault she had suffered, and that she was addicted to alcohol and also suicidal.

A forensic psychiatrist who had recently compiled a report on Rogers told the court she suffered bouts of psychotic depression and recommended her detention in a mental health unit.

Judge Stephen John said "any attempt to kill a child is an offence of great gravity" and that long sentences inevitably follow.

But he added that what Rogers required was "not punishment, but help".

He closed the hearing by saying: "She can be helped, and can get better".

Rogers will be taken to a mental health unit in Oxford for further treatment.

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