The mother of a four-year-old girl who died following alleged child cruelty had told the youngster: 'I hate you, you little b*****d', a court heard.

Michala Pyke, 37, was said to have "shouted from the day she moved in" by a neighbour and regularly yelled at daughter Poppy Widdison, jurors were told.

Pyke and ex-boyfriend John Rytting, 40, allegedly fed Poppy drugs so they could have sex, joking that the substances were like 'smarties'.

Hull Crown Court, East Yorkshire, heard that a neighbour of the former couple told jurors Pyke had a "short fuse" and was "very, very angry".


Poppy died in 2013 but the cause of her death was inconclusive, even though she 'lived in an environment where drugs were present', the court was told.

Linda Roberts, a former neighbour of Pyke, told the court that Pyke and Poppy, at the time aged two, moved in next door in 2011.

She said: "I tried to be neighbourly but she was a problem from the start - she was always shouting in general.

"She [Pyke] was very, very angry most of the time - she swore a lot.

"It became very obvious very quickly that she was a very angry person and had quite a short fuse.

"It was straight away - she shouted from the day she moved in.

"Sometimes it was at Poppy, sometimes she would argue with herself - it wasn't your normal disciplining of a child.

"I used to put notes through the door - I asked her to keep the noise down."

Roberts said she heard Pyke tell Poppy: "I hate you, you little b*****d."

Michala Pyke, 37, (left) is alleged to have given drugs to her daughter so she could have sex with her boyfriend without being disturbed. Photo / Michaka Pyke Facebook
Michala Pyke, 37, (left) is alleged to have given drugs to her daughter so she could have sex with her boyfriend without being disturbed. Photo / Michaka Pyke Facebook

Pyke, of Hull, East Yorkshire, and Rytting, of Grimsby, North East Lincs., each deny two offences of cruelty towards Poppy while responsible for her, between January 1 and June 9, 2013, causing unnecessary suffering.

One of the charges involves claims that they encouraged Poppy to eat prescription or controlled drugs and the other that they assaulted her, causing bruising.

They both admit cruelty involving accommodating Poppy in a house where drugs were unsecured and within the reach of a child and Pyke admits cruelty involving emotional abuse.

Rytting denies possessing cannabis with intent to supply and Pyke denies possessing methadone with intent to supply and supplying methadone.

Rytting admits fraudulently importing Temazepam between July 1, 2011 and June 9, 2013 and admits being concerned in supplying diazepam and Temazepam.

Hull Crown Court was told that an ambulance was called to the couple's then home at Grimsby, on June 9, 2013 and the crew found Poppy to be unresponsive, blue and not breathing.

She was taken to hospital and transferred to Sheffield Children's Hospital but life support was withdrawn and she died the next day.

The prosecution claims that Pyke and Rytting "fed" sedative drugs to Poppy because she was an "inconvenience" to their "love life".

Pyke told him in a text message to give her daughter a "blue smartie" - a nickname for the sedative diazepam.

Traces of different drugs were found in the girl's hair and Poppy had suffered a "long period of ill-treatment and neglect", it is claimed.

The trial continues.