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Woman Who ‘Wilfully’ Gave Boy Harmful Laxatives That Affected His Development Jailed for 7 Years

In World
April 09, 2024

Tracy Menhinick, a 52-year-old former auxiliary nurse, was found guilty on April 9 of “wilfully ill-treating” the boy to cause harm

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PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Tracy Menhinick at the High Court Glasgow on March 19, 2024

A woman who gave a boy harmful laxatives has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Tracy Menhinick, a 52-year-old former auxiliary nurse, was found guilty of “wilfully ill-treating” the boy to cause harm, according to a sentencing statement at the High Court in Glasgow on April 9. The incidents allegedly took place on multiple occasions over three years.

The statement adds that Menhinick gave the boy a non-prescribed medication such as laxative lactulose, which resulted in his being admitted to the hospital due to his development and mobility being affected.

She also reportedly agreed to procedures, treatments and operations that the child did not need, all “to his permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life,” the indictment said.

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<p>PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo</p><p> Tracy Menhinick leaving High Court Glasgow on March 19, 2024″ data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/YulPSRXPk6KQz2u0yiVPzQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY2OA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/7c81353786558537fa5312ef9a1d313d”><noscript><img alt=PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

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PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Tracy Menhinick leaving High Court Glasgow on March 19, 2024

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“The level of laxatives he was being given were such that at times he would have floppy episodes when he became limp and had to be resuscitated,” Judge Lady Drummond said during sentencing. “He had to undergo intrusive and risky operations which you knew were unnecessary and that the need for them had been caused by you.”

“You are aged 52 and deny any responsibility for your actions,” she added. “You have no previous convictions. You worked previously in a hospital setting and with young people. You suffered childhood trauma yourself and are currently bed bound.”

The judge also pointed out that Menhinick was found to have suffered from factitious disorder, formerly known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

“You have factitious disorder imposed on self and imposed on another (these were previously known as Munchausen and Munchausen by Proxy),” Drummond stated. “In the psychiatrist’s opinion, you do not require hospital treatment for these disorders.”

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She added, “According to the report, you have not experienced impairment of your ability to test reality that would provide psychiatric grounds for mitigation for your actions. You do not accept you have these disorders. The motivation for your behavior is uncertain.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, a factitious disorder is a mental disorder when someone purposely makes themselves or someone else sick.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that 5,500 pages of evidence and medical records, which revealed the boy’s failure to gain weight over 19 days, were heard in court.

The outlet adds that the boy was between the ages of three and six when he was poisoned, adding that an expert witness said he was admitted to the hospital weighing under 22 lbs. at the age of five.

According to the outlet, the boy was admitted in October 2016 with Menhinick later being removed from his care after Great Ormond Street Hospital in London found lactulose in his stool sample.

After Menhinick was removed from his care, the younger child’s condition reportedly improved, despite him being permanently disfigured.

Police Scotland denied PEOPLE’s request for a statement.

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