Couple poisoned baby with methadone

A couple gave heroin substitute methadone to a baby who died of suspected poisoning, a court has heard.

Holly Agius, aged 14 months, died after being taken to hospital from her home in Broadwell, near Coleford, in Gloucestershire.

Her mother Bonny Richards, 27, and partner John Davies, 31, admitted two counts of cruelty towards the little girl.

One charge covered a six-month period between July 2008 and January last year.

Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, told Bristol Crown Court the pair gave Holly methadone on "repeated occasions".

A separate charge of manslaughter, which they denied, was withdrawn by the prosecution and Mr Smith asked that the charge lie on file.

Holly died at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital after being admitted on January 12.

Methadone is a synthetic drug used to wean addicts off heroin.

Richards and Davies were bailed by Mrs Justice Cox until sentencing on July 12.