A Napier woman has today been sentenced to 12 months supervision after choosing not to tell medical staff her then 11-month old daughter had become sick because she had eaten cannabis oil.

The woman will remain unnamed after Judge Geoff Rea made a permanent order suppressing her identity because it could "revictimise" her baby.

Last month she pleaded guilty at Napier District Court to one charge of ill-treating/neglecting a child under the age of 18.

The woman stood in the dock at Napier District Court dabbing at her eyes, her lip trembling as the Judge told the court what happened last July when the woman arrived home to find her baby alone and vomiting green foam.


The woman had gone to the supermarket to pick up milk formula for the young child leaving her then partner and his associates to look after her.

When she returned home the baby was alone in the lounge and vomiting green foam.
The mother wiped green tar from around her baby's mouth and nose and retrieved a plastic capsule from her mouth.

The summary states at the time her then partner was in the kitchen with his associates bagging up methamphetamine.

When she confronted them, one of them admitted leaving cannabis oil capsules on a chair in the lounge, the baby had consumed one of them.

Judge Rea said the woman's culpability came after the child had consumed the drugs when she failed to seek medical attention for her.

He said she asked her then partner and his associates whether she should call an ambulance and chose not to when one of them told her the child would sleep it off.

The Judge said the woman had chosen to take the advice of people who were involved in drugs and who would have no interest in calling authorities to the address.

The summary states the baby fell asleep in her mother's arms before they both went to bed, only to wake at 9pm to her child with a high temperature and vomiting again.


After 20 minutes had passed and after trying to call the baby's father the mother called 111 for an ambulance. She told police she called the ambulance because she was worried her daughter might die.

The woman did not tell ambulance staff why her daughter was sick. She also chose not to tell hospital staff, it was only until a member of her family arrived at the hospital that she revealed her daughter had consumed cannabis oil.

She told police that although she did not take drugs around her daughter she was a regular meth user at the time of the incident and was often coming down from a high.

She admitted she had taken the drug the previous night and told police she "wasn't processing things at the time".

Judge Rea said fortunately the baby had recovered. Her daughter, and another baby the woman had very recently given birth to was in the care of another family member.

The woman's lawyer, James Rainger, said his client had good family support and "evident remorse".

He said it had been a huge wake-up call for the woman, it was an "unusual case" and his client's name should remain secret so as to not identify her daughter.

Mr Rainger said it was not the baby's fault and it would not be fair to expose her to this
Jude Rea said it was fair to say a "good deal of water had gone under the bridge" since the offending last July.

He ordered the woman to undertake a drug and alcohol programme, a parenting programme and any others the probation officer requested.

"The obvious victim is your child."

The Judge told the woman that although she had been granted permanent name suppression many people would not be able to understand how she could put her child in that position.