Riley death: Mum in tears at court

Adrug addict mother whose two-year-old son died after drinking methadone has told a jury she did “everything in her power” to keep her child safe.

Sally Dent, from Belper, sobbed as she gave evidence at Nottingham Crown Court, where she is on trial for the manslaughter of her son Riley Pettipierre.

Her partner, Shaun Binfield, is also accused of manslaughter. They both deny all charges.

Previously, the court was told Riley died after drinking Dent’s methadone from a child’s beaker at the home the pair shared on Kilbourne Road, Belper.

Riley was found lifeless on their bed at 10.30am on March 13 last year.

Giving evidence, Dent said: “Never ever in amillion years would I hurt my child on purpose. I didn’t know until now this could happen.

“It was a very tragic accident, I made a grave error.

“People who don’t understand drugs, they think you’re scum. I have had it all my life.”

The court was previously told that Dent thought she had placed the methadone beaker out of Riley’s reach. She said at the time she did not have any spare child-proof bottles, which she usually stored the methadone in.

The beaker had been taken through to her bedroom ready for her to take when she woke up. She continued: “It’s not good for me to be taking drugs in the house – I know that.

“It was my responsibilty, I was the drug addict, I was the one with the methadone solution.”

Dent,33, is also accused of cruelty to a child under the age of 16. She denies the charge.

Binfield,44, was also accused of this offence at the start of the trial but the judge ruled there was not enough evidence to convict him of this charge and entered a not guilty verdict.

The trial continues. For updates go to