'Selfish' woman left girl, 4, in vegetative state by injecting her with 12 doses of insulin

Chantell Graham, 33, filmed her helpless victim fitting for an hour before taking her to hospital.
Chantell Graham, 33, filmed her helpless victim fitting for an hour before taking her to hospital.
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A "selfish" woman left a four-year-old girl in a vegetative state by injecting her with 12 doses of insulin to get the attention of a man.

Chantell Graham, 33, filmed her helpless victim fitting for an hour before taking her to hospital.

She showed no emotion as a Judge branded her "selfish" and jailed her for 12 years, saying the harm she caused the child was "just short of death".

Three years after the girl is unable to speak, has to be fed and medicated through tubes, is doubly incontinent and still suffers "frequent" seizures, the court heard.

Graham, of Tottenham, north London, continues to deny her crimes after jurors convicted her injecting the girl with insulin twice and of child cruelty in June 2016.

The girl and a man who "exploited" Graham cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Judge Martin Edmunds QC said: "She was a healthy and lively child with all her life ahead of her.

"It is all too clear that your intention was to make her sufficiently ill to need admission to hospital as a device by which you could obtain the attention of the man for yourself.

"The primary purpose of sentencing in your case must be to punish you for your crimes but no sentence I can pass can equate to the lifetime damage you have caused to her.

"The consequences of your actions on June 9 for her have been catastrophic. Before this she was a healthy active four-year-old with all her life ahead of her.

"The result of your actions combined with the delay in seeking treatment was to cause her severe brain damage, epilepsy and a movement disorder.

"Your victim, a four-year-old child, was vulnerable and, upon the evidence, most likely sleeping when you injected her.

"She now lies in a care home bed from which she will never rise unaided. She is fully dependant for all aspects of care.

"She has frequent seizures. She is fed and medicated through tubes, she is doubly incontinent, she cannot roll or sit independently, staff seek to mobilise her to try to preserve her mobility.

"She is unable to speak and can only moan or cry when distressed unwell or in pain.

"We cannot know to what extent she comprehends her state, or to what extent she is in pain, or distress.

"One of her occupational therapists reported in June this year that 'She appears to respond positively to touch and firm pressure. She especially likes to have her arms and cheeks stroked.

This can help settle her when she is distressed, and her crying has escalated to heavy sobbing'.

"In its seriousness I judge this level of harm to be just short of death."

The court heard Graham injected her with insulin she got from her diabetic step-father and filmed the child "fitting and making involuntary cries" to send to the man on June 6.

She administered three times the amount after his attention "waned" three days later and googled 'biting tongue in children and 'can seizures cause brain damage' as she waited an hour

before taking the girl to a hospital three days later.

She never told doctors what happened to her and continued her relationship with the man after she was remanded in custody for her crimes.

The judge added: "You were clearly obsessed with him and he took advantage of you.

"I note that you have continued your relationship with him since she was hospitalised and that he has visited you since your remand in custody.

"You have shown no remorse. Whilst educational and medical professionals have remarked on your apparent lack of engagement and empathy with the child you are not unintelligent, and

this is not a case where you could be said to have had a limited awareness or understanding of the offence.

"You are undoubtedly dangerous in any ordinary meaning of the word.

"You continue to deny what you have done.

"I find that your actions were intentional, calculated, planned and repeated. You demonstrate no insight into your actions.

"You continue to deny your offending and therefore decline to participate in any offending behaviour work that could address the fundamental deficit in your thinking processes.

"I have no doubt that you continue to pose a significant risk of causing serious harm to any child in your care.

"You knew the effect of the injection on June 6, you had seen the extent of the care she had needed at the hospital, you had researched hypoglycaemia on the internet and then went on to

inject her with approximately three times the amount of insulin you had injected on June 6.

"Having done so you observed the effect of your injection and delayed seeking medical attention whilst searching about the possibility of brain damage.

"There is every reason to think that the delay in treatment will have aggravated the damage.

"That night you focused only on your own wish to have his attention.

"You deliberately made her ill for your own selfish purposes. You did not intend to cause the level of harm that you did but nevertheless you have deprived your child of almost all her quality of life."

Graham was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for administering a poison or noxious substance with intent on June 6 2016.

She got nine-and-a-half years consecutive for the same charge, but with intent to endanger life and six years concurrent in jail for child cruelty three days later.

A Criminal Behaviour Order was made banning her from unsupervised

contact with under 16s for life.