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Last Updated: Monday, 3 December 2007, 19:01 GMT
Woman 'gave husband rat killer'
A wife poisoned her husband with rat killer and anti-depressants in an attempt to confuse him while she stole 43,000 from his mother, a court heard.

Jurors heard Heather Mook tried to cover up thefts by giving her husband the anti-depressant drug amitriptyline.

She also gave John Mook, 60, rat killer pellets once, York Crown Court heard.

Mrs Mook, 57, of Heslington Road, York, denies six counts of administering a poison or noxious substance so as to endanger life.

Stealing admitted

She has admitted five less serious charges, including administering rat killer and a number of theft-related offences.

The court heard Mr Mook, a bus driver, was left confused, tired and agitated by the poisoning.

Prosecuting, Adrian Waterman, QC, said Mrs Mook had access to the anti-depressants as she was prescribed them herself.

He said: "The stealing of the money and the giving of the drugs were linked. She gave him amitriptyline to avoid discovery of her thefts.

"These matters are not in dispute. She admits the stealing. She admits giving the amitriptyline.

"There are two clear issues in this case. The first and most important issue is what were the quantities of giving this drug? In other words how serious it was.

"The second issue is over what period she gave it to him."

Mr Mook was taken ill in January this year but the court was told the poisoning goes back further after tests on hair taken from the victim revealed toxins.

Life 'at risk'

Mr Waterman told the jury John and Heather Mook married in 1997. Mr Mook's mother, Freda, sold her home and moved into their property in 2002.

The jury was told around 35,000 from the sale was invested while another 8,000 of his mother's money was deposited in the Yorkshire Bank.

However, the relationship between Mrs Mook and her mother-in-law deteriorated and Freda Mook moved into a residential nursing home.

Mr Waterman said Freda Mook's money had gone by February 2005.

He said: "The main issue is not whether she gave him amitriptyline but what were the quantities.

"It is clear the defendant did in effect put John Mook's life at risk."

The trial continues.

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