Cumbria Police: Woman who deliberately made child under her direct care ill is sentenced

A Barrow woman who was charged with offences relating to allegation of fabricating or inducing illness in a child under her direct care, has been sentenced after she admitted a number of charges.

Elizabeth Faragher, 43, of Albert Street, Barrow, appeared at Preston Crown Court on 25 April 2022 and admitted five charges of administering a poison or noxious substance with intent and one charge of cruelty to a person aged under 16.

Today (28 July) she was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison.

Police began their investigation in December 2016, after liaising with health professionals regarding the health of the young boy.

The child had been taken to hospital on numerous occasions with infections which were so serious as to require transfer to Alder Hey hospital for treatment.

Doctors were concerned about the seriousness of the infections and their investigations showed that on the majority of the occasions the child was brought to hospital, bacteria normally only present in faeces was found to be present.

Further investigations ruled out the possibility of faecal matter leaking from the child’s gut, which increased the concern that the bacteria was finding its way into the child’s system via deliberate injection.

Following a lengthy and thorough investigation Faragher was charged with offences and was due to stand trial at Preston Crown Court on 25 April. However, she then pleaded guilty to the offences and has now been sentenced.

Detective Inspector Fae Dilks of Cumbria Police said:

“This was an extremely distressing case for all involved – from the health professionals who sought to do everything in their power to help and safeguard the child to those detectives tasked with conducting what was a complex and lengthy investigation.

“This was an extremely rare case where the evidence showed an individual had set out to deliberately make a child under her care seriously ill.

“We would like to thank our partner agencies in healthcare for their support and in helping ensure the child in question is safeguarded.”

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