Methadone boy's mother sent to jail

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 September, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 September, 2006, 12:00am

A drug-addicted mother was jailed for four months yesterday for bringing home methadone that left her young son brain damaged.

The 21/2-year-old toddler, who now has a mental age of six months, is under the care of his paternal grandmother.

Tang Mei-kwan, 45, pleaded guilty in Kowloon City Court last month to possessing a dangerous drug and neglecting or ill-treating a child.

Defence counsel David Chan told the court that Tang regretted her negligence and did not give the drug to her son on purpose.

The court heard earlier that Tang was given 40mg of methadone at the Yau Ma Tei clinic on December 12 last year.

She kept some in her mouth which she spat into a plastic bottle and put it in her trouser pocket. She then took it home and went to bed, wearing the trousers, with her son.

When she woke at 11pm, she saw her son licking the bottle and there were traces of methadone on the floor and around the boy's mouth.

She did not observe any abnormality with her child so she cleaned the floor and the pair returned to bed.

It was not until four hours later that Tang discovered her son was unconscious and his lips had turned black. The boy was rushed to the intensive care unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Methadone was found in his blood and urine.