A YOUNG couple have walked free from court after a child was taken to hospital after drinking illegal cannabis-laced vaping oil and ingesting cocaine.

The pair initially remained tight-lipped about the cause of the child’s illness before admitting they could have drunk the oil after finding it in their North East home.

Jordan Wilson and Njabulo Buthelezi claimed the child may have ingested the cocaine after sucking on a contaminated dummy.

Durham Crown Court heard how the youngster had to be intubated for 24-hours to help with its breathing while being treated in hospital in January 2021.

Annelise Haugstad, prosecuting, said the child suffered no long-term impact on its health as a result of the incident.

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The court heard how the cocaine level in the child was ‘relatively high’ but it was impossible to argue against the defendants’ claim that it entered their bloodstream through sharing the dummy.

Both defendants, of Kelvin Gardens, Consett, pleaded guilty to a charge of child cruelty and possession of class B drug. Wilson also admitted possession of incapacitating device – a stun-gun.

The Northern Echo: Durham Crown CourtDurham Crown Court

Jane Waugh, representing 21-year-old, Buthelezi, said her client had endured her own traumatic childhood and urged the judge to spare her from an immediate custodial sentence.

She said: “The drugs were there because she self-medicates, they should have been in the same place as the child and she accepts that. She thought by putting things on high shelves that would be enough.”

While Brian Mark, representing 24-year-old Wilson, said his client was now drug-free and understood he would have to live with the offence for the rest of his life.

He added: “He is as disgraced as his co-accused.”

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Judge James Adkins opted to suspend the sentences for both defendants.

Buthelezi was given a 20-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carryout 200 hours of unpaid work and attend 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

While Wilson was given an almost identical sentence but has to perform an additional 50 hours of unpaid work for the possession of the stun-gun.

The judge added: “I’m just persuaded in your case not to send you immediately to custody.”

Addressing them both, he said: “If I see you again, if you commit further offences or don’t complete the community work, I will have no hesitation in sending you to prison.”

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