Parents of toddler believed to have eaten cannabis-laced chocolate to stand trial for alleged child cruelty
THE parents of a toddler believed to have eaten cannabis-laced chocolate are to stand trial for alleged child cruelty.
The man and woman appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court over allegations that they exposed their young son to the risk of unnecessary suffering or injury.
An uncle of the boy is also being prosecuted on charges of possessing Class B drugs and causing or allowing him to be exposed to serious physical harm.
None of the defendants can be named to protect the child’s identity.
Proceedings relate to an incident in June 2021 at the west Belfast home of another member of their family.
The boy was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital due to suspicions that he had eaten part of a chocolate bar containing a cannabinoid.
His mother and father, aged 22 and 27, were subsequently charged along with the child’s 31-year-old uncle.
Standing together in the dock for Wednesday's preliminary enquiry hearing, the defendants confirmed they understood the charges but declined to give evidence or call witnesses at this stage.
Defence lawyers did not contest submissions that their clients each have a prima facie case to answer.
Granting the prosecution’s application, District Judge Steven Keown returned all three accused for trial at Belfast Crown Court.
The defendants were released on continuing bail to appear again for their arraignment on a date to be set.