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The BBC's Kevin Bocquet reports
"They came to court to find out who was responsible for the death of their baby"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 1 March, 2000, 18:31 GMT
Chemists fined after baby death
Collette Jackson and Neil Young
Matthew's parents Collette Jackson and Neil Young
Two Boots pharmacists have been fined after they admitted giving the wrong medicine to a four-day-old baby who later died.

Lisa Taylor Lloyd, 28, of Crewe, Cheshire, and her assistant Ziad Kattab, 25, of Eccles, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to a charge of supplying an incorrect medicine "not of the nature and quality specified on the description".

However, they denied manslaughter, and that charged was dropped.

Taylor Lloyd was fined 1,000, and Kattab was fined 750.

Baby Matthew Young died after taking a peppermint gripe water for colic.

Matthew Young
Matthew Young died after being given peppermint water
The medicine was prepared by Kattab, who was working under the supervision of Taylor Lloyd at the Hallwood Health Centre in Runcorn.

Chester Crown Court heard that Matthew was mistakenly given the medicine in its undiluted form.

Prosecuting counsel Peter Hughes QC said: "The fundamental mistake that Mr Kattab made was to confuse chloroform water in its double strength form with concentrated chloroform which as a solution is 20 times stronger."

Matthew's mother took the medicine home and his father measured out the dose into the syringe but Mr Hughes said after just a few drops Matthew stopped breathing and suffered a cardiac arrest.

He was rushed to hospital by ambulance and transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital where he was treated in intensive care but despite all efforts to save him he died on 17 May 1998, having suffered severe brain damage.

Ziad Kattab
Ziad Kattab was a trainee pharmacist
A pathologist certified he had died from a cardiac arrest resulting from the inhalation of chloroform.

The judge, Mr Justice Forbes accepted the pleas after hearing from the prosecution that there was a real doubt whether Mr Kattab would have had the training to fully appreciate the difference between peppermint water in its concentrated and diluted forms.

The court also heard there was a significant difference in levels of supervision of trainee staff between hospital pharmacies and High St pharmacies like Boots.

Lisa Taylor Lloyd
Lisa Taylor Lloyd admitted providing the wrong medicine
The branch of Boots where the medicine was dispensed should not have been employing trainees.

Mr Justice Forbes also blamed the formula book that was used to prepare the mixture.

He told the defendants: "I accept that each of you are genuinely and profoundly remorseful and I have no doubt that each of you would earnestly desire to turn the clock back and I accept that each of you has been deeply affected by this tragedy.

"It is an extremely sad and tragic case for all concerned. One's heart goes out to the parents of the boy who died so tragically and so young."

Matthew's parents, Collette Jackson and Neil Young say they intend to take a civil action against Boots the Chemists.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society issued a warning in its journal after the tragic event for pharmacists to check their work.

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