Grant Yuill jailed for giving baby methadone

Grant Yuill
Image caption Grant Yuill has been jailed for eight years

A father found guilty of giving the drug methadone to his baby daughter in a bottle of milk has been jailed for eight years.

Grant Yuill, 38, of Porthmadog, Gwynedd, was also convicted of supplying drugs to the baby's mother.

Caernarfon Crown Court was told exposure to the drug had affected the child's development, and she has been taken into care.

Yuill was previously cleared of rubbing methadone into his daughter's gums.

He was told by Judge Merfyn Hughes QC: "This is a case of serious cruelty over a period of time."

Yuill was also found guilty of child cruelty and putting the baby's mother in fear of violence.

The judge told him he was the driving force behind what had happened to the baby, who became drug addicted, and had been lucky to survive.

Judge Hughes told him: "It will only be when she's approaching school age that the full impact of what you have done to her will become known."

After the hearing Gwynedd and Anglesey Local Safeguarding Children Board said a serious case review had been carried out.

A spokesman said: "We remain determined to establish whether there are lessons to be learned to improve inter-agency working to safeguard children and act upon recommendations made".

The prosecution had claimed that Yuill, 38, had told his partner Nia Jones, 31, that rubbing methadone into the baby's gums within hours of the birth was the only way to hide the fact she was taking methadone.

'Hash oil'

Jones, of Caernarfon, who is in jail for the ill-treatment of her daughter, told the court she used to take cannabis and dabbled with ecstasy.

She told the jury she became addicted to heroin after Yuill pretended it was "hash oil", but he rejected a claim that he tricked her into smoking heroin.

The court heard that the child was born in June 2009, and that after giving birth Jones told Yuill that she was worried because the baby was "burning up."

Jones had told the court Yuill dabbed his finger twice into a bottle of methadone and rubbed it on the baby's gum.

When the baby went home, this method continued and methadone was mixed in her milk, she said.

The trial heard the couple had also tried to squirt methadone in the mouth using a syringe.

'Staff acted professionally'

The trial was told that it was almost seven months before the methadone supply came to light when staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, became suspicious of the mother and alerted police.

In his summing up, the judge told the jury that they might have found it "remarkable" that the situation was not spotted sooner.

But the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which runs the hospital, said it was "confident that staff acted professionally and appropriately in relation to this incident and it was their vigilance that ensured that the situation was brought to light and the relevant authorities alerted".

Jones told the trial that methadone was given to the baby in hospital, and she would wait at a bus stop for a blue teddy bear which Mr Yuill used to send on a bus from Porthmadog.

The teddy would have a bottle of methadone zipped in the mouth.

Gwynedd and Anglesey Local Safeguarding Children Board said the results of the serious case review would be published later.

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