Claire Johnson: Scarborough mother jailed for not calling an ambulance when her daughter lay dying from a heroin overdose.
The Leeds Crown Court has sent a 41-year old mother to jail after finding her guilty of manslaughter because she neglected to call an ambulance when her daughter lay dying from a heroin overdose.
Claire Johnson, of Market Way, Scarborough, was in her flat when her 21-year old daughter, Natasha Johnson, collapsed after injecting herself with an overdose of heroin.
The court heard that Natasha, who was not a drug addict, accepted dugs from her friend, 41-year old Daniel Kedge. The friend had gone out to buy drugs and returned only to allow Natasha inject herself.
According to facts presented in court, after Natasha injected herself with the heroin, the drug had an immediate effect on her that she collapsed and struggled for breath.
Ms Johnson helped her daughter on to a sofa so that she could be in a position recovery from her state. She then went to bed, leaving her unresponsive daughter on the sofa. However, she returned a few hours later to put a towel over her daughter.
Ms Johnson only returned downstairs the following morning only to find her daughter dead.
“Claire Johnson had a duty of care to Natasha which she quite clearly breached when she failed to call an ambulance for her when she collapsed after taking heroin.
“It must have been obvious that Natasha was in urgent need of medical attention when she collapsed and became unresponsive, and Johnson has never given a proper explanation as to why she didn’t get help,” said Det Sgt Jonathan Sygrove, of Scarborough CID.
He added: “This was a tragic end to a young life which could most probably have been avoided if the person who was with Natasha in her hour of need had acted in a correct and responsible manner.”
And a medical expert submitted that Natasha’s chances of survival would have been high had her mother sought immediate medical assistance.
After admitting manslaughter by gross negligence, Johnson sentenced to two years and eight months in prison while Natasha’s friend, Kedge was cleared of manslaughter. The court, however, convicted him of supplying Class A drugs for which he was sentenced to 16 months in jail.