Kent

Dover methadone mother Lucy King 'tried to save' toddler

Lucy King arriving at Maidstone Crown Court for trial
Image caption Lucy King is accused of killing her toddler daughter

The mother of a child who swallowed a fatal dose of a heroin substitute has told of her desperate bid to save her.

Lucy King denies manslaughter by gross negligence and child cruelty after Frankie Hedgecock drank methadone.

She told Maidstone Crown Court she panicked and tried to make the two-year-old sick at their Dover home.

Ms King, 39, would normally take the drug under pharmacy supervision, but admitted she was buying top-ups from a friend and storing it at home.

The court heard she left a dose of the drug in the sitting room of her De Burgh Street home so it would be ready for her the following day.

The long-term methadone user said the next morning she was "snuggling up" on the sofa with her daughter when she nodded off for a few minutes.

When she woke up she saw the cup was virtually empty.

'Seemed fine'

She said she first tried to make her daughter sick but, as time progressed, her daughter seemed to show no ill-effects and she began to think she hadn't drunk the liquid.

She said: "She was fine, there was no drowsiness, she was just bright-eyed and normal."

Defence counsel Oliver Saxby asked her: "What do you wish you had done?"

Ms King replied: "Call an ambulance."

He added: "If you had realised she had taken methadone, is that something you would have done?"

She said: "I did not know she had taken it and I was scared."

Frankie, who later stopped breathing, was taken to hospital but died the same morning.

The case continues.

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