A MOTHER has been jailed after pleading guilty to feeding sleeping tablets to her daughter.
The Huddersfield girl - who is now eight years old and cannot be identified for legal reasons - suffered nausea, drowsiness and hallucinations after being given the tablets three times, Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday.
The youngster lives with her father, but visited her 27-year-old mother - who was jailed for 18 months - in Cheshire on a regular basis until August, 2002, when she was first given the tablets.
The girl was staying with the woman at her house when she complained of feeling ill. She was taken to hospital and her mother admitted giving her the drugs to help her sleep.
Visits to her mother stopped until May, 2003, when the girl was again admitted to hospital suffering from taking the tablets.
On the last occasion the woman visited her daughter in Huddersfield and fed her the tablets when she took the girl to the shop to get sweets.
The girl was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in a delirious state, believing she could see spiders all over the floor and walls.
The defendant, whose mother was present in court, pleaded guilty to three counts of child cruelty.
In mitigation, Gillian Batts called on the judge to consider a community rehabilitation order for the woman so she could be treated for a personality disorder.
She added: "This is an unusual case because of the act the defendant has done.
"But the more important question is what is the reason, rather than just simple badness.
"She has experienced a lot of problems and a great deal of difficulties in her life."
Ms Batts went on: "The defendant's mother actually made a statement against her, setting out the problems she has faced and the difficulties the defendant has had while growing up."
Passing sentence, Judge Sutcliffe said the crimes were too serious to let the woman walk free.
She said the woman had been offered treatment, but had not accepted it.
She also manipulated other people in order to get attention.
Addressing the woman - who smiled at her family from the dock throughout the hearing - Judge Sutcliffe said: "This child must have been terrified.
"There is no doubt you had a terrible upbringing and that has had a part to play in your behaviour.
"But from what I have read that you have shown little remorse."
The woman - who has a string of previous offences including shoplifting, deception and common assault - will also be subject to a community supervision order on her release.