A WOMAN who poisoned and beat her five-year-old son has been jailed for life after being found guilty of the child’s murder.
Claire Scanlon, 37, of Limeside, Oldham, Greater Manchester must serve a minimum of 18 years for killing her son, Dylan Scanlon, on New Year’s Eve 2021.
Tests following his death showed the boy had nine times the fatal adult dose of an antidepressant in his system.
The trial heard how Scanlon had taunted her ex-partner in the days before Dylan’s death, saying he would never see his son again.
Following Friday’s sentencing, Gary Keenan said his son ‘will be missed every minute of every day’.
Bruised and lifeless
The trial heard how, at 6.15pm on New Year’s Eve 2021, Scanlon left her house on Elm Road in Oldham and went to her uncle’s house opposite, claiming Dylan was not breathing or moving.
Members of her family went over to her house and found Dylan lifeless in a double bed in the main bedroom of the house with numerous bruises on his face and body.
A neighbour had heard the voices of both Scanlon and Dylan through the wall at 2am that morning, which was the last time he was heard alive.
In the days leading up to his death, Scanlon had sent abusive messages and voicemails to her ex-partner, Mr Keenan, telling him he would never see his son again.
Police found a note in the house that suggested Scanlon had planned for both herself and Dylan to die.
She gave different reasons for her son’s bruises to family and to the paramedics to cover for the fact she had beaten him and given him her antidepressants.
Toxicological analysis showed that Dylan had been poisoned with Mirtazapine, an antidepressant which had been prescribed to Scanlon.
He had a level of the drug in his system which was nine times what would be fatal in an adult.
Dylan also had a significant number of bruises to his head and body, with many inflicted in the 24 hours before his death.
At Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on Wednesday, Scanlon was found guilty of murder.
She refused to appear at the same court on Friday via video-link for sentencing.
‘Worst time in our lives’
Paying tribute to his son, Mr Keenan said Dylan had been ‘cruelly taken away from us… by the one person who was supposed to love and protect him’.
“I would like to thank all my family and friends for the love and support they have offered, during what can only be described as the worst time in our lives,” he said.
“Dylan was cruelly taken away from us on New Year’s Eve in 2021 by the one person who was supposed to love and protect him.
“He will be missed every minute of every day, and we cannot put into words how difficult it’s been to endure the trial and to listen to how Dylan came to his death.
“We would like to thank Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, who have been so supportive and guided us through the investigation and trial.”
Nicola Carter from the Crown Prosecution Service said Scanlon had lied in order to avoid taking responsibility for her son’s death.
“Claire Scanlon’s role as a parent was to love and protect her son from harm, but she took the ultimate step to take her young son Dylan away from her ex-partner,” said Ms Carter.
“She initially told her family that a ladder had fallen on Dylan, then a short time later she told a paramedic that he had fallen down some steps.
“The truth was that she had deliberately poisoned and beaten him.
“I would like to offer my sincere sympathies to Dylan’s loved ones including his grandfather, father and brother who gave evidence at the trial.
“They not only have to come to terms with his loss, but also the manner in which he died.”