On Thursday, a jury in the Criminal Court of West Flanders found Petra Vandenbussche (39) guilty of poisoning her 9-year old son. On May 15th, 2011, the mother, a native of Eeernegem, gave her son insecticide. That Sunday afternoon, Petra Vandenbussche mixed Malathion in a glass of lemonade and gave it to her son who was already hospitalized at Torhout Hospital following a serious illness. On June 3rd, the boy eventually died as a result of the poisoning. It was not until October that the mother was found out after failing a polygraph test.
Psychiatrists found that the accused was suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy. This syndrome affects people with children: these people attract attention by deliberately mistreating the child before taking him to a doctor. The mother had already purposefully administered inappropriate medications to her son.
The court has not yet handed down the sentence.
Lorraine Torry (Source: Belga)