A middle-aged mother accidentally killed her 25-year-old son, who was drunk at the time, by squirting morphine into his mouth “for a laugh,” court records noted.
The accused woman, Marianne Willoughby, who is on heavy doses of regular morphine herself, was accused of administering the prescription drug to her son, Christopher Rowley-Goodchild, after he had spent a night drinking with his friend.
Rowley-Goodchild reportedly passed away at the family home in Weybridge, Surrey in the UK, after swallowing “at least four or five” doses of the drug, including one he administered himself.
Willoughby, 50, is facing charges of manslaughter despite a jury hearing Mr Rowley-Goodchild was happy to take the drug before his death.
When paramedics arrived to find Rowley-Goodchild dead and asked his mother why she had given him her medication, she replied, “You know, just for a laugh.”
The Guildford Crown Court in Britain heard that Willoughby was taking the medication, which is morphine-based, for severe pain in her knee when the tragedy unfolded in June 2013.
Having spent the night drinking, with 25-year-old friend Kirk Ugle, Rowley-Goodchild’s mother joined them at around 11pm. The court heard that after a couple of hours, Willoughby raised the subject of her oramorph and offered it to the two men, neither of whom had taken it before.
Prosecutor John O’Higgins said, “They looked at it and they both decided individually that they would have some.” At this point, Willoughby reportedly used a 10ml syringe to suck up the drug and then squirted it into the two men’s mouths, the jury was told.
When Rowley-Goodchild passed out, Ugle and Willoughby put him on a bed and assumed he’d just sleep it off.
Having been arrested, the accused woman was overheard at the police station saying, “I didn’t force him to have the morphine. I shouldn’t have let him have it.”
Ugle told the court, “She squirted the oramorph into our mouths. We said we were happy to take it.”
Prosecutor O’Higgins told the jury, “It is the prosecution case that the defendant, who sadly is [Mr Rowley-Goodchild’s] mother, provided the oramorph and administered it by literally pouring or squirting it into his mouth. What she did was to administer her prescription medication to somebody that she knew was already drunk and to whom the drug was not prescribed.”