The mother of a young girl who died after months of being exposed to drugs has had her sentencing delayed after the judge requested more time to consider their verdict.
Michala Pyke was convicted of child cruelty and drugs offences over the death of her four-year-old daughter Poppy Widdison in 2013. Pyke, along with her partner John Rytting, had allowed Poppy to eat drugs in the final six months of her life. These included heroin, ketamine, and diazapam. Poppy eventually died from a cardiac arrest in June 2013.
Tests conducted after Poppy's death found that there were drugs in her system from two to six months before her death. David Gordon of the prosecution revealed that Pyke and Rytting, who were involved in the dealing of drugs, sent one another text messages regarding giving Poppy sedatives, which they referred to as a 'blue Smartie'.
Ms Pyke's legal representation, Katherine Goddard, suggested that Mr Rytting was ultimately responsible for Poppy's death: "Until Michala Pyke began the relationship with John Rytting, however difficult life was, Poppy was generally well cared for and those in positions of authority and responsibility were content with the levels of care she received."
Timothy Roberts QC, representing Rytting, maintained that the bulk of the responsibility should fall on Pyke: "Michala Pyke had primary caring responsibility for her daughter and it’s not without significance that the scientific evidence indicated that, over a six month period, there had been an ingestion of prescribed drugs."
Before adjourning the sentencing, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told the accused: "Make no mistake, the sentence in respect of each of you will be of some substance but it’s important that I calibrate the sentence with some care."