Foster carer avoids jail time after nearly killing child
A foster carer who almost killed a severely disabled child by poisoning her with morphine has avoided a jail term.
The 12-year-old girl, known only as Eve, was left fighting for life after Susan Lizzul, 54, administered the girl a near fatal dose of morphine sulfate.
Lizzul, a trained nurse, has refused to explain why she administered the drug to the severely disabled girl.
But doctors who cared for her for almost three weeks after she was taken to hospital said if it wasn't for the prompt and intensive medical care she received, Eve may have died.
Lizzul lied to doctors about her offending then tried to blame Eve's mother for her crime.
But a police search of her home found ampoules of morphine sulfate.
They had been prescribed to two of Lizzul's own disabled children who she nursed to their tragic deaths, aged 12 and eight.
She later volunteered with various charities and worked with children with disabilities.
When she administered the dangerous drug to Eve in November 2016 Lizzul was working as her full time foster carer.
Eve was non-verbal, severely epileptic, and restricted to a wheelchair.
On the eve of her County Court trial Lizzul pleaded guilty to a single count of reckless conduct endangering life.
The crime carries a maximum term of five years' imprisonment.
Sentencing her today Judge Meryl Sexton said Lizzul's senseless offending had a devastating impact on the girl and her family.
"Clearly Eve was placed in danger of serious injury and suffered for a time," she said.
"Fortunately she has made a full recovery and has a strong will to live.
"However her family … have suffered not only in the immediate aftermath … but their trust in any other carer was completely destroyed."
Judge Sexton said the family were so shaken by Lizzul's crime that they returned to the United Kingdom after almost 30 years in Australia.
She said Lizzul has failed to show any remorse.
Lizzul was convicted and sentenced to a community correction order and must complete 300 hours of unpaid work.
Prosecutors had not sought a jail term.
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