Humberside

Poppy Widdison death: Heroin in system due to 'passive smoking'

Poppy Widdison Image copyright Humberside Police
Image caption Poppy Widdison died at Sheffield Children's Hospital in June 2013

A mother told police signs of heroin might have been in her four-year-old daughter's system due to "passive smoking", a court has heard.

Poppy Widdison, from Grimsby, died from a cardiac arrest in June 2013.

Extracts of police interviews were read out at Hull Crown Court, in which Michala Pyke admitted taking heroin but "never" while with her daughter.

Ms Pyke, 37, of Ladysmith Road, and her ex-partner, John Rytting, 40, of Frederick Street, deny child cruelty.

In her interview, Ms Pyke told officers how she became addicted to drugs and was on a methadone programme.

David Gordon QC, prosecuting, said: "Pyke said she was taking heroin at the time Poppy died but never did that in Poppy's presence.

"She suggested that if there were signs of heroin in Poppy's system it was because of passive smoking."

'Heavy heroin use'

She was asked if she had ever seen her ex-partner giving Poppy drugs, with Ms Pyke replying: "No, it doesn't make sense."

In his police interview, Mr Rytting also spoke of being on a methadone programme and how he took temazepam, diazepam and medication for paranoid schizophrenia.

"The small quantities of various drugs discovered at my home address are for my home use to treat myself for drug withdrawal and depression," he said in the interview.

Image caption Michala Pyke and John Rytting deny child cruelty

When police asked Ms Pyke how diazepam came to be in Poppy's system she said she had "no idea", the court was told.

The court heard Mr Rytting told detectives Poppy was sleeping on a settee because they were "doing up a bedroom".

When police asked if Ms Pyke locked Poppy in, she replied the front and inner door of the house would be used as a "naughty corner", the court was told.

The prosecution claims the couple "fed" drugs to Poppy to sedate her because she got in the way of their relationship.

The trial continues.

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