A drug-addicted mother who turned her young son into a junkie after giving him heroin and crack cocaine from the age of nine was jailed on Thursday.
Emma Kelly, 31, of no fixed address, was given a nine-year sentence for supplying drugs to the child and told she must serve at least six years.
Judge Anthony Niblett, at Hove Crown Court, East Sussex, said it had been “pure wickedness” to give drugs to the boy.
“There can be no greater betrayal of a mother’s trust and duty towards her child,” he told Kelly, who also admitted two counts of child cruelty.
The judge raised concerns that social services had failed to take the boy away from his mother and he called for an urgent review of the case.
A spokesman for East Sussex Social Services had no immediate comment.
The scale of Kelly and her son’s drug addiction was revealed after detectives arrested the pair during a shoplifting spree in January 2005.
Police found drug-taking equipment, including burnt foil and spoons, on the floor of the child’s bedroom. He was pale and thin and needed hospital treatment for his addiction.
Police said the boy could easily have died each time he took the drugs supplied by his mother between 2003 and 2005.
“It was potentially life threatening as they would have had an effect on his heart and other vital organs which were still developing,” said Detective Sergeant Wendy Fuller, of the Child Protection Team, Eastbourne.
Defense lawyer Rebecca Upton said Kelly was “truly disgusted” by her actions. The former trainee jockey’s life had fallen apart after the death of her partner in 1996.
The boy was taken into foster care and is now back at school.