Deliberate Poisoning

The effects of poisoning have hit headlines in recent months as incidents involving nerve agents have been reported in Amesbury and Salisbury, poisoning five people, including one fatality.

Whilst these two incidents have received significant news coverage, with latest reports outlining safety measures being introduced around the fatal victim, Dawn Sturgess’ funeral, there are in fact around 170,000 people admitted to hospital in the UK each year with suspected poisoning.

In addition to nerve agents, there are a number of more ‘common’ substances involved in poisoning including household products such as table salt, chemicals, legal and illegal drugs, amongst others. – These substances can still have lasting physical and psychological side effects.

A case was in fact reported earlier this year involving the mother of an 18 month old child being found guilty of deliberately poisoning her daughter. The child had ingested between 21g and 24g of salt, an amount which equates to 12 times the amount a child of her age should consume in one day. In this case, the child survived; however, the effects of too much sodium can be devastating.

In non-fatal cases, the effects of poisoning on the body can still be significant and permanent. Victims may also face psychological injuries including a permanent change in mental state.

Victoria Price, Personal Injury Specialist, commented:

“170,000 people are admitted to hospital each year with suspected poisoning. This figure is huge. Cases involving deliberate poisoning can be life changing for the victim.  Some cases involve an immediate reaction, however there are some instances of poisoning that involve minimal amounts of a substance being administered over a sustained period with slowly developing symptoms. In these cases, victims potentially face a greater psychological battle. They need to get proper medical help as well as come to terms with the fact that someone they trust has been poisoning them – intending to do them harm. This is a criminal offence and attracts a prison sentence. In severe cases the offender can be charged with attempted murder. In fatal cases they will be charged with murder. Sometimes victims are people who are vulnerable, for example, children, the elderly or infirm people, people who are isolated or who do not have a voice or access to help. Anxiety and depression often accompany the physical problems such as organ damage that toxins cause. The rehabilitation process can takes months or years. Some people might never recover and need help and support for all of their lives.”

It is possible to claim compensation if you have been a victim of deliberate poisoning. Whilst no amount of compensation will change what has happened to you, this could help you pay for private treatment to overcome the effects.

If you would like to speak to a member of the specialised CICA team at Price Slater Gawne regarding a claim, please contact us in complete confidence on 0161 615 5554.  All initial consultations are free and all of our CICA cases are taken on a “no win no fee” basis.