Ex-NHS Care Worker, 52, Faces Psychiatric Report After Poisoning Child with Laxatives for Three Years

Tracy Menhinick, a 52-year-old former NHS care worker, was found guilty of ‘wilfully’ ill-treating a child by administering laxatives over a span of three years, from 2014 to 2017. The child, who cannot be named due to legal restrictions, was described as looking like ‘someone from Auschwitz’ after the ordeal, highlighting the severe impact of Menhinick’s actions on the child’s health and development.

The laxative lactulose, which was not prescribed for the child, caused significant developmental and mobility issues, leading to hospital admissions. Menhinick also consented to unnecessary treatments, procedures, and operations on the child, which she knew would result in permanent disfigurement, impairment, and potentially endanger the child’s life.

Ex-NHS Care Worker, 52, Faces Psychiatric Report After Poisoning Child with Laxatives for Three Years

The sentencing process for Menhinick was deferred to allow for the preparation of a psychiatric report. This decision was made following the revelation that Menhinick suffers from a mental health disorder, which could potentially influence her culpability for the crimes committed.

The court heard that Menhinick has a complex psychiatric history, and her legal representatives argued that the available medical reports did not provide sufficient information to inform the judge about her mental state at the time of the offenses. The defense emphasized the need to fully understand Menhinick’s psychiatric condition before passing sentence.

The ill treatment of the child occurred on various occasions when the boy was aged between three and six. The incidents took place at an address in Aberdeen, at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, and elsewhere. The case was tried at the High Court in Aberdeen, and Menhinick appeared for sentencing at the High Court in Glasgow.

Ex-NHS Care Worker, 52, Faces Psychiatric Report After Poisoning Child with Laxatives for Three Years
Ex-NHS Care Worker, 52, Faces Psychiatric Report After Poisoning Child with Laxatives for Three Years

The judge, Lady Drummond, stated that she needed more information about Menhinick’s mental health disorder to determine her culpability and appropriate sentence. The defense team, led by Frances Connor, highlighted the complexity of Menhinick’s psychiatric history and the need for a comprehensive psychiatric report to fully understand its impact on her behavior.

The deferment of Menhinick’s sentence until April 9, 2024, was ordered to allow for the preparation of a report on the impact of her mental disorder on her offending and culpability. This report will provide crucial insights into how Menhinick’s mental health condition may have influenced her actions and the severity of her crimes.

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