Toddler died from drinking methadone, court told

Sophie Jones
Sophie Jones

A two-year-old girl died from drinking a heroin substitute after her parents put drugs first in their lives, a court was told.

Sophie Jones had managed to drink a substantial amount of methadone which had been prescribed to her mum and should have been kept in a safe place, it has been claimed.

Preston Crown Court was told today that she had a very high concentration of the substance in her body and that amount could have even led to an overdose in an adult tolerant to methadone.

But it probably would have made a difference if she had been taken to hospital earlier as a complete antidote could have been given, the court heard.

Her 41-year-old father Barry Jones, of Jameson Street, Blackpool, denies manslaughter by gross negligence, as well as an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a child and child cruelty.

The jury have been told that her mother, Michelle King, has admitted her manslaughter.

Opening the case for the prosecution today, Simon Medland, suggested that at the time the couple’s lives had spiralled downwards and they were prioritising drugs and not the care, health and well being of their daughter.

They were putting drugs first and Sophie second, he told the court.

After the little girl’s death in March this year, police searched the home.

In the yard officers found a Tom and Jerry cup which had a quarter of a pint of methadone inside.

The drug had been decanted from a child proof bottle into the cup which may have been deeply attractive to Sophie, said the prosecution.

It has been suggested that Michelle King, who was on a methadone prescription, had been stockpiling and selling it.

Mr Medland claimed that hair samples later showed Sophie and been exposed to controlled drugs like heroin and cocaine over a substantial period of time

The prosecution also allege that while their daughter was very poorly Jones and Michelle King had tried to save their own skin by laying a false trail and doing a clean up before the emergency services were called.

The defendant denies any criminal responsibility.

(Proceeding)