A Dundee woman who seriously endangered a child by repeatedly dosing her up with adult sleeping tablets has been placed on a tag.
Shelley Forrester, 35, admitted placing the youngster in danger by illegally administering melatonin to her over a period of several years.
Forrester, of Alloway Gardens, Dundee, admitted giving the young child the sleeping drug over a six-year period.
She was giving up to four of the potentially dangerous pills in a single day.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday that Forrester had been handing the child the tablets to keep her quiet while she was looking after her.
The court was told the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was given the drug without Forrester seeking any medical advice.
She admitted a charge of endangering the child and Sheriff John Rafferty placed her on a 7pm to 5am curfew for the next 120 days.
Forrester admitted culpably and recklessly administering prescription melatonin tablets to the child between January 2013 and October last year.
She admitted making other people give the child tablets when she knew the drug had not been prescribed for her.
The charge she admitted said Forrester had “complete disregard to the risk or side-effects and did place her in serious danger of injury to her health”.
Fiscal depute Christine Allan told the court that the child had reported to social workers that she believed she was getting the tablets to stop her being hyperactive.
The court was told Forrester claimed they were hay fever tablets and they were administered on several occasions to the child when she was in her care.
Solicitor David Duncan, defending, told the court Forrester’s home had been chaotic at the time of the offences and she was in an abusive relationship.
He said: “The social work report is poor because I don’t think she has realised the gravity of the offence.”
The court was told that the offence was brought to the attention of the authorities because others who entered the house realised the tablets were being given to the child.
Sheriff Rafferty said: “This is a very serious matter. You placed the child at significant risk.
“Even now I do not think you realise the gravity of the situation you are in. The sentence is a direct alternative to custody.”
A former co-accused, Jonathan Williams, 33, of Brook Street, Dundee, had his not guilty plea to the same charge accepted by the Crown.
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep–wake cycle. As a supplement, it is often used for the short-term treatment of trouble sleeping such as from jet lag or shift work.