Woman admits Exmouth pensioner GBH drugging

PUBLISHED: 12:38 22 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:55 22 April 2016

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.

Archant

A woman has admitted drugging an Exmouth pensioner, 85, with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, Exeter Crown Court has heard.

Betty Miller pleaded guilty to giving the drugs to 85-year-old Exmouth man Leslie Quaintance when she was living with him between May and August last year.

The court was told Ibuprofen would not normally by harmful but the drug had the potential to cause the victim serious injury because of his medical condition.

Miller, aged 37, who is now living in supported accommodation in Bournemouth, admitted administering a poison or noxious substance with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, adjourned her sentence and called for a psychiatric report after hearing she is being treated for a mental illness.

The Judge said: “This is a highly unusual case and the sentence will depend very much on what I read in the reports. She seems to have admitted what she has done throughout and will receive full credit for her plea.

“I shall need to see a victim impact statement. She will receive bail but that is no indication of sentence.”

Mr Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said a very unusual combination of events led to the offence, which is most unlikely to be repeated.

He said: “The case came to light because she came forward and made admissions to a medical practitioner and the evidence is that she stopped what she was doing before it caused any serious damage.

“As far as her motive is concerned, it would be possible to put a very sinister spin on it that she was seeking to get him out of the way and she wanted to get his flat or his money.

“On the other hand the evidence of the officer is that she appeared sheepish when she was interviewed about it. The entire case is based on what she has said.

“She has written notes about putting medication in his drink. Police found financial documents relating to Mr Quaintance on her bed.”

Mr Joss Ticehurst, defending, said Miller received psychiatric help at a unit in Weymouth and is now living in accommodation in Bournemouth where she is receiving treatment from a community psychiatric nurse.

He said it is hoped that her next appointment with her consultant psychiatrist may be brought forward so he can prepare a report for the sentencing hearing.

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