Apr 11 2003
A care assistant was being sentenced today for giving overdoses of a muscle-relaxing drug to a terminally-ill multiple sclerosis patient.
Dawn Taylor, 43, pleaded guilty last week to four charges of illegally administering midazolam to David Smith between September 26 and October 1 last year.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that Taylor, of Byron Way, Catshill, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, committed the offences while visiting Mr Smith at a hospice, but later refused to give police any explanation for her actions.
Alistair Webster QC, prosecuting, said the daily overdoses, of up to 27ml, were spotted by nursing staff at the St Mary's Hospice in Selly Oak, Birmingham.
Hospice staff alerted police, who set up a covert camera to film Taylor tampering with a syringe driver feeding the drug to Mr Smith.
The 52-year-old, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1980, died on October 25 last year, but his death was not connected to Taylor's actions.
The court heard that the carer, who was hired by Mr Smith's wife and was not employed by the hospice, had provided care for him since December 1999.
The overdoses administered to the patient were not life-threatening, but would have led to a temporary deterioration of his condition.
Taylor was due to be sentenced this morning by Mr Justice Jack, who
adjourned the case for reports last Friday.
© Copyright 2003, Trinity Mirror Plc