A “selfish” mother who murdered her five-year-old son by poisoning him with antidepressants to “take him away” from her ex has been sentenced to life in prison.
Claire Scanlon, 38, killed her son Dylan at their home in Oldham, Greater Manchester on New Year’s Eve 2021.
He was found with 64 bruises to his head, face and body, while a toxicology report found he had nine times the lethal dose of the drug in his body.
Scanlon claimed Dylan fell off the ladder into the attic and was playing with the dog just before realizing he was unresponsive.
But she told Edenfield Hospital staff after her arrest and admission, “I killed my son.”
The court heard that Scanlon felt “very angry and depressed” after the “bitter” breakdown of her relationship with her ex-partner and Dylan’s father in 2020.
She left a string of ranting voice messages in the weeks leading up to the murder, saying he left her for another woman while she struggled “emotionally, practically and financially” as a single mother.
On December 15, she warned, “I promise you, you won’t see him again.” You’ll see. Bye. Go and enjoy your life.’
And in a recent message she left on Dec. 30, she said: “You’re just showing you just want to pretend Dyl and I aren’t in your life and go ahead and build a new one with your new bird.” Live on.”
“So go and do that.” I’ll solve it for you. Go and enjoy your new life with her.’
Scanlon was found guilty of murder after a trial at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.
She refused to return to the dock to hear Judge Yip handing her a life sentence with a minimum sentence of 18 years.
The judge told her, “Dylan was five when he died.” He was an active, happy little boy. He was just starting elementary school and his teachers spoke warmly of him.
“He was loved very much. This is a very sad case. Not only were you a good mother who loved Dylan dearly, but you also murdered him.
“You’re the only person who knows exactly what happened, but you weren’t telling the truth.”
“I’m sure you gave Dylan a major overdose of your antidepressants with the intent that he should die.” There are unanswered questions about what you did.
“You decided to take him away from everyone who loved him.” That was a selfish decision to hurt those you were angry at. There was no indication that you had ever hurt Dylan before.
‘He was a little boy who depended entirely on you, you betrayed the trust placed in you as his mother and primary caregiver.’ I am sure your intention was to kill.’
The court heard Scanlon inherited Huntington’s disease from her mother and called the diagnosis a “death sentence.”
After her arrest, police found a note that read, “Don’t let us see her, just burn us,” which prosecutors said showed she had planned to die with him.
While the judge said this may have influenced Scanlon’s behavior, she said it was no excuse for her son’s murder.
She said: “It must have been scary and unsettling when you started getting symptoms and realized you had them – you described HD as a death sentence.”
“But as the jury found in its verdict, it is neither an explanation nor an apology for the killing of Dylan.”
“Because of your Huntington’s disease, you may not have a long life. You may spend the rest of your life in prison or in a safe hospital.”
Dylan’s father, Gary Keenan, read a moving statement about the impact of the sacrifice and expressed his sadness at never seeing his son again.
He said, “Christmas was one of Dylan’s favorite times of the year.”
“He loved the lights, the glitter and the gifts.” I had so many gifts for him but his mom said I wasn’t allowed to see him.
“So they were still at my house hoping I could give them to him the next time I saw him — but that never happened.”
He added, “The loss of Dylan will always leave a big hole in our hearts and we miss him every day.”
Following the case, Chief Attorney General for the North West CPS Nicola Carter said: “Claire Scanlon’s role as a mother was to love her son and protect him from harm, but she took the final step to save her young son Dylan from hers Taking away ex.” Partner.
“She first told her family that a ladder had fallen on Dylan, then a short time later she told a paramedic that he had fallen down some steps.” The truth was that she had deliberately poisoned and beat him.
“I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Dylan’s family, including his grandfather, father and brother, who testified at the trial.” Not only are they dealing with his loss, but with the way he died .”
Contact our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories like this, Check out our news page.
Get the latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and more you absolutely need to know