Childminder Secretly Injected Tot With Insulin
A nurse who started childminding for friends after the tragic death of her daughter secretly injected a baby left in her care with massive doses of insulin.
Veronica Duncan gave the four-month-old repeated doses of the powerful medication used to treat adult diabetics.
The overdose only came to light when the little girl’s mum asked a doctor friend to take a look at her because she seemed unwell.
The baby – who cannot be named – was immediately rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.
Yesterday, Duncan, 41, now detained in a psychiatric hospital, appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh and admitted assaulting the baby girl to her severe injury and to the danger of her life.
She was originally accused of attempted murder but the Crown accepted her guilty plea to the lesser charge.
Alastair Brown, prosecuting, asked the judge to defer hearing details of the case until today so the parents of Duncan’s little victim could be in court.
Registered nurse Duncan, who has an older son, lost her daughter Anna in May last year, two weeks after she was given the MMR vaccine.
She and husband John were convinced there was a link between Anna’s death from a seizure and the controversial jab.
They threw themselves into a campaign against MMR and John went public with their concerns.
Duncan, an agency nurse at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Scottish Borders General Hospital, began offering to babysit the children of friends and neighbours in Peeblesshire.
They were happy to leave their youngsters with the health expert, even feeling sorry for her over Anna’s death.
When the baby she had been caring for was rushed to hospital with a suspected insulin overdose, Duncan was not asuspect.
Police first questioned the sick girl’s mother as they tried to establish how she had been given the hormone.
The distraught woman faced a barrage of questions and suspicion as her daughter was being treated.
It was only when detectives began looking at the people the baby girl had come into contact with that Duncan came to their attention.
Detectives were able to trace the insulin to supplies at one hospital where she had worked and they knew she had the know-how to inject a baby.
Police were inundated with calls from worried mothers who had asked Duncan to care for their babies.
Cops even looked at the death of her own daughter again, but found nothing suspicious.
Senior officers yesterday ruled out theories that Duncan suffered from the condition Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy, where an adult makes a child ill to get attention from medics.
One senior officer said: “If it was Munchausen’s, Veronica would have come to the aid of her victim to be the hero, or sought medical help.
“She didn’t, she just made her sick and left. The baby was very lucky her mum sought medical attention herself and the overdose was quickly spotted.
“We think Veronica just couldn’t stand seeing other mums with baby girls after losing her own daughter.
“She struggled with the guilt of thinking the MMR was connected to her little girl’s death and possibly couldn’t stand the thought of this little baby girl having to go through the vaccine herself.
“Whatever her reasons, she acted appallingly and put this innocent baby’s life at risk and her parents through hell.”
Duncan didn’t speak during the brief hearing yesterday and was later driven back to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.