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'Really dangerous': Toddler given wine, hit and kicked

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Fri, 29 Jul 2022, 10:34am
Jacqui Tucker was granted bail ahead of her sentencing in September. Photo / Rob Kidd
Jacqui Tucker was granted bail ahead of her sentencing in September. Photo / Rob Kidd

'Really dangerous': Toddler given wine, hit and kicked

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Fri, 29 Jul 2022, 10:34am

An Otago mother gave a toddler wine and hit them in public, before stripping down to her underwear, a court has heard.

Jacqui Florence Tucker, 36, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday, where she admitted charges of criminal nuisance, assaulting a child and disorderly behaviour following the October 5 incident.

According to court documents, the child was under 2 at the time.

Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners medical director Bryan Betty said during his time in practice he had never heard of someone so young being given alcohol.

He described it as "really dangerous".

Tucker was in Hanover St, in central Dunedin, when the incident unfolded.

A summary of facts said she was intoxicated, "yelling and shouting" and drinking wine from a cask as the child wandered close to the road.

"The defendant poured wine into a plastic bottle," police said.

"The defendant then placed the bottle into the victim's mouth, tilting the bottle so [they] would drink the wine."

Tucker then turned her aggression on the toddler.

She pushed a pram at them, narrowly missing, then ran up and struck them in the side of the head.

The child started crying, prompting the defendant to drag them backwards, grabbing them by the arm and hood of their jersey.

She dropped the victim on to the ground then kicked them "softly" in the back.

The court heard how Tucker then removed all her clothing bar her underpants and bra and remained in her state of semi-nudity until police arrived.

She was described as "unsteady on her feet" and "not making any sense".

Dr Betty said there was a slew of severe health concerns when it came to minors consuming alcohol.

"We need to think of alcohol in children as a poison," he said.

One-off incidents could result in seizures, respiratory depression, low blood sugar and possibly coma.

Over longer periods "it's brain development we really start to worry about", Dr Betty said.

Tucker also pleaded guilty to possessing a weapon and behaving threateningly, after she confronted her flatmate with a meat cleaver earlier this month while on bail.

She was readmitted to bail and will be sentenced in September.

Judge Jim Large warned her "all options are on the table".

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