Shefford dental nurse denies boss's 'revenge' poisoning
A dental nurse has denied poisoning her boss "in revenge" after being disciplined for leaving a patient in the dental chair and going for lunch.
Ravinder Kaur, 35, of Ettrick Drive, Bedford, is accused of spiking Laura Knowles' coffee with mercury metal.
She pleaded not guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court of administering a noxious substance with intent.
Ms Knowles was treated in hospital for stomach cramps after an incident at Shams Moopen Dental Practice, Shefford.
The dental practice manager was left panicking and "white as a ghost", the court heard.
Prosecutor Laura Blackband said Ms Kaur, acting out of spite or revenge, tipped mercury used for making fillings into coffee given to Ms Knowles to drink.
She said: "Ms Knowles sipped the coffee but halfway through realised something wasn't right with it.
"She threw it away in the sink and saw it was mercury at the bottom.
"Her reaction was panic - she thought she had been poisoned."
Before the incident Ms Kaur had had "disagreements" with colleagues, Ms Blackband said.
She had received a written warning over her behaviour for leaving a patient in a dental chair while she took her lunch break
She had also been involved in a tribunal over complaints about the practice two months before she allegedly spiked her boss's drink.
On the day of the incident she took her time over making the drink and told colleagues she had to change the water in the kettle, the court heard.
The liquid appeared to be much darker than normal coffee and contained small pieces of metal.
Ms Blackband said Ms Kaur, who had worked at the practice since November 2011, was experienced in using mercury and knew of its potentially deadly effects if swallowed.
The case continues