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British couple convicted of killing 16-month-old son by giving him methadone and anti-depressant drug on Tenerife holiday
Corrina Reid and Robert Cormack were found guilty of manslaughter
By Bill Caven and Gerard Couzens
PUBLISHED: 10:23 GMT, 23 April 2013 | UPDATED: 13:24 GMT, 23 April 2013
A Scottish couple were convicted last night of killing their 16-month-old son by giving him methadone and an anti-depressant.
Corinna Reid, 37, was cleared of homicide but found guilty of the manslaughter of her toddler Aiden.
Her former partner, and the child’s father, Robert Cormack, was also cleared of homicide but convicted of manslaughter.
The couple, recovering drug addicts, had faced up to 14 years in jail if found guilty of the youngster’s homicide in a hotel room in Tenerife during a holiday.
They can expect to be jailed for between one and four years.
State prosecutor Jaime Serrano asked judge Jose Felix Mota to jail the couple, from Edinburgh, for two and a half years.
Their defence lawyers asked him to consider a maximum sentence of six months, taking into account mitigating circumstances including the couple’s drug dependency when Aiden died.
Decision: Corinna Reid & current boyfriend arrive at the court in Spain
They were bailed until sentencing, expected to be announced in a month’s time. Both declined to comment.
Robert’s lawyer Mari Angeles Conde said: ‘It’s very unlikely either of them will be ordered to return to jail to serve any more prison time given the time they have already been held in custody.’
The jury reached its majority 8-1 verdict only hours after the pair had appeared at the Provincial Law Court in the island’s capital, Santa Cruz.
They determined that Reid and Cormack had consciously given the infant methadone and the anti-depressant Diazepam.
But the nine-member jury unanimously ruled that they could not have been aware of the lethal consequences of the mix of Aiden’s bronchitis and the drugs he had consumed.
The toddler died in January 2007 at the family’s holiday hotel in Adeje, southern Tenerife.
His death was blamed on bronchitis but tests revealed traces of the heroin substitute methadone and tranquiliser Diazepam in his body.
Reid, a mother-of-three, and her then boyfriend, Cormack, 42, were arrested and extradited to Tenerife two years later.
‘Corinna and I have lost everything. To suggest we intentionally harmed our child is ridiculous’
It was only then Cormack confessed the youngster might have drunk some of his orange juice laced with methadone.
Spanish authorities dismissed their claims it was an accident and insisted the couple drugged him on purpose.
Earlier Reid had told the court: ‘I didn’t give anything to Aiden. When Robert told me it was an accident, I know he’s telling me the truth. He would never have knowingly killed Aiden.’
She added: ‘I thought Aiden had died of complications from flu and a virus that had affected his breathing.’
Cormack, who was involved in an altercation with a photographer outside the court, insisted: ‘The police suggested we wanted to subdue Aiden with the drugs so we could drink alcohol.
‘Every minute we spent with Aiden was a joy.
‘Corinna and I have lost everything. To suggest we intentionally harmed our child is ridiculous.’
Mr Serrano told jurors Aiden died after the pair ‘consciously’ gave their son the drugs to sedate him so they could get a proper night’s sleep.
Reid’s defence lawyer, Christian Mesia, described the mother as a ‘victim’.
He added: ‘To this day we still don’t have a cause of death for Aiden and that’s because of the botched investigation.’
Cormack’s defence lawyer, Mari Angeles Conde, told the jury: ‘He didn’t want to kill his son.
‘Was he negligent? Possibly, yes, but that doesn’t mean he meant to kill his son.’