Woman who framed child is jailed — (BBC)

SSRI Ed note: Woman, 40, on antidepressants frames neighbor's 6-yr-old for vandalism and theft, causing her serious problems. Discovered, she gets 3 years in jail.

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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 20:01 GMT 21:01 UK

A mother has been jailed for running an 18-month hate campaign against a friend’s six-year-old daughter.

Kathryn Skinner, 40, from Whipton, Exeter, was jailed for three years for deliberately getting her into trouble at home and school.

Exeter Crown Court heard she stole money and even spiked drinks with anti-depressants at children’s parties and blamed it on the child.

Judge Graham Cottle told her the story of the case “almost defies belief”.

Yours were the actions of a warped and twisted mind – Judge Graham Cottle

The young victim was left traumatised and bewildered after being punished for offences she had not committed.

Skinner even faked letters which appeared to come from the girl which accused her parents of mistreating her and claimed she was being sexually abused.

She drew obscene drawings on walls at school which the girl was blamed for and smuggled a note into the school toilets which appeared to have been written by the girl and called her head teacher a bitch

She slashed every curtain and 100 different items of clothing in the girl’s home and even sabotaged electrical appliances with knives.

I don’t believe I have previously dealt with any case which matches this for pure wickedness – Judge Graham Cottle

Skinner caused £2,000 worth of damage and then planted razor blades in the victim’s room to ensure she was accused of the vandalism.

When she protested her innocence she was branded a liar and she became so confused she ended up admitting things which she was completely innocent of.

The girl, now eight, was repeatedly punished at home including a smacking and suspended from school for almost six months.

At one point she was smacked and kept her in her room for nine days as punishment after her father’s passport was slashed when he was about to go on holiday.

Skinner admitted causing the girl actual bodily harm through the mental torment she suffered.

She also admitted stealing  £60 from her mother and £170 from another woman.

‘Twisted mind’

Judge Cottle told her: “The story of this case almost defies belief. Your conduct can only be described as wicked. I don’t believe I have previously dealt with any case which matches this for pure wickedness.

“Yours were the actions of a warped and twisted mind. This poor child was repeatedly blamed for your actions and the strain which was put on her and her family was enormous.”

Mr Sean Brunton, prosecuting, said Skinner was unable to tell police why she had targeted the child.

The defence said that said although Skinner was aware of the consequences of what she was doing, she never intended what had happened to the girl.