Mother laughs as she leaves court where she was spared jail despite slow and painful death of son, 2, who drank poisonous cannabis plant food from Fruit Shoot bottle.
Aaron Booth died 11 days after drinking the toxic liquid.
Judge says he died a 'prolonged and frankly horrible' death.
- The dehydrated child hadn't had a drink since the previous day
- He suffered agonising internal burns and a collapsed lung
- His 23-year-old mother slept with her boyfriend until lunchtime
- Jury hears she had turned his room into a cannabis factory to 'make money'
A mother whose neglected two-year-old son died a prolonged and horrible death after drinking poisonous plant food laughed as she walked free from court today.
Lauren Booth, 24, was growing cannabis in her home in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and was asleep when her son Aaron drank the toxic liquid.
She was handed a 12-month suspended sentence at Bradford Crown Court today after being found guilty of child neglect.
Lauren Booth, was growing cannabis in her home in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and was asleep when her son Aaron, left, drank the toxic liquid.
Aaron had not been fed and was probably extremely hungry and thirsty when he drank the liquid, the trial heard.
He died 11 days later after his windpipe disintegrated and suffered several other internal injuries, including burns to his stomach, pancreas and spleen.
Judge Colin Burn described the toddler’s death as terrible as he sentenced Booth.
He said: 'It was a cataclysmic, single failure to act.
'Aaron was almost three, at an age where he was curious and everything was a challenge, therefore by failing to supervise him you allowed this terrible event to happen.
'I’m bound to say that Aaron’s death was a prolonged and frankly horrible one. There is no other way to describe it. And it was preventable.
'By simply moving it along the windowsill and forgetting about it and also by failing to get up in the morning to look after Aaron, knowing that the bottle was in the house, you acted in neglect.'
Booth's partner at the time had taken the pH Up brand plant food into the house in Norris Close, Judge Burn said.
Tragic toddler Aaron Booth died after drinking toxic plant food meant to help his mother Lauren's cannabis grow, thinking it was a Fruit Shoot drink.
The blue bottle contained a highly toxic concentration of potassium hydroxide, or caustic potash, and two teaspoons of it would have been a fatal dose.
It was thought that Aaron, who was described as being at an age where any new item was a curiosity or a challenge, may have mistaken the bottle for the soft drink Fruit Shoot.
Information about growing cannabis was discovered in a notebook and laptop seized from the house by police.
Judge Burn told Booth: 'The evidence that this liquid was used for growing cannabis was strong. You should not even have allowed the liquid to be brought into the same house as Aaron.'
He continued: 'You knew that the content of that bottle of plant growing liquid could be harmful to Aaron, you knew that there was the risk that Aaron could get to the bottle. You failed to take proper steps to prevent him getting to that bottle.'
He added: 'By failing to move the bottle, or failing to supervise him, you allowed this terrible event to happen.'
The home of Lauren Booth, in Huddersfield, where toddler Aaron drank from a bottle of plant food.
Booth and her partner were awoken by a loud thud at around 12.40pm on November 6 2010, to find Aaron lying down with a brown mouth and lips.
By the time paramedics arrived, Aaron's mouth and lips were purple and he was foaming at the mouth.
Judge Burn said Booth was a loving mother to Aaron and tried her best to look after him but made some poor judgments.
'Most parents do, from time to time, make some poor judgments in respect of their children. The unfortunate aspect of this case is on 6 November your poor judgment had fatal consequences,' he said.
'You will have to live with his death long after any sentence from this court has been served.'
Judge Burn said an immediate prison sentence would not benefit the public or Booth, who has since had another child.
He said reports showed that she did not pose any risk to her children and rehabilitation would help her to become a 'proper, appropriate, satisfactory, at least adequate parent in the future'.
The judge said the maximum suspended sentence he could pass was one of 12 months but said he would suspend it for the maximum period of two years, during which time Booth would be under supervision.