Parents sentenced to prison after child ingests methadone

The Kurzeme District Court has sentenced to one year's imprisonment parents whose minor child got methadone poisoning, the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Latvia said on April 18.

The man and the woman were prosecuted for abusing a minor by causing physical suffering. In its summary judgment, the court found the defendants guilty and sentenced them to one year's imprisonment.

According to the prosecution, the man was undergoing treatment for drug dependence and was therefore prescribed a methadone program and was allowed to keep methadone in his home for drug dependence treatment. Both persons were aware that the drug should be kept out of the reach and sight of children.

A bottle of methadone liquid was kept in a place freely accessible to the minor. The child, unaware of the consequences, drank it. The child's life was thus endangered and physical suffering was caused as a result of the defendants' negligence.

The defendants pleaded guilty to the offenses.

As pointed out by the Prosecutor's Office of North Kurzeme, according to case-law it is irrelevant whether both parents used methadone and exactly which of them was given the dose of methadone that the child drank, as both parents had a joint duty of care for the child.

However, the defendants were negligent and reckless in this duty, which resulted in the endangerment of the child's life, physical suffering, and life-threatening injuries to the child.

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