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Woman Who Gave Baby A Bottle Of Bleach Had A History Of Hurting Young Children

14/08/2014 16:51 | Updated 22 May 2015

Woman detained indefinitely for giving baby bleach bottle in McDonald's

A woman who gave a stranger's baby a bottle of bleach in a McDonald's restaurant had a history of hurting young children.

A court heard that Elaine Joyner, 53, had thrown a two-year-old girl against a shop window, pushed a one-year-old boy to the ground at a hospital and slapped an 18-month-old child across the face at a bus stop.

Then last September she put bleach in an 11-month-old baby boy's drinking bottle while his mum and grandmother were distracted in a branch of McDonalds.

Yesterday, a judge said Joyner, from Deptford, south-east London, was a 'danger' to very young children and posed a 'serious risk' to the public.

She was given a hospital order that she be detained under the Mental Health Act at Bethlem Royal Hospital in Beckenham, Kent, and placed under an indefinite restriction order 'to further protect the public'.

Joyner, who was declared unfit to plead at a previous hearing last month, had been found by a jury to have committed the bleach poisoning act.

Sentencing her at Woolwich Crown Court, Judge Andrew Lees said: "It is clear to me from the evidence that I have read and in the hearing that took place that what you did was an inherently dangerous act which could have caused danger, serious danger, to the life of the baby.

"Mercifully he has a made a full recovery. It is clear to me that you have a problem, probably in the form of mental illness and probably in relation to developmental behaviour.

"This is a worrying escalation of dangerous behaviour towards very young children. I am satisfied that you suffer from a mental disorder and in the circumstances that a hospital order is made.

"There is no certainty as to whether there is a real prospect of alleviating the serious risk to the public of serious harm, especially to young children."

In relation to the incident at McDonald's in Eltham, south-east London, prosecutor Peter Clark said: 'Elaine Joyner gave to a complete stranger's baby a feeding bottle that contained a poisonous or noxious substance, a fluid that contained bleach, or something very similar.

"The baby, who was 11 and a half months old, took some of that fluid in his mouth and was immediately rendered ill by it. "He retched and vomited over himself and turned very pale."

Thankfully, the baby, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, made a good recovery with no long-term ill effects.

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