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Suspended sentence handed to woman who used remote device to give insulin overdose

A Stoke-on-Trent woman who remotely administered an overdose of insulin to her partner has been given a suspended sentence.

Laura Hopkin, of Westwood Road, Meir, pleaded guilty to the offence of administering a noxious substance.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard police received a call from Hopkin’s partner at 2.20am on 13 August 2017, reporting the 33-year-old had tried to give him an overdose of insulin. 

The man, who lives in Longton and was diagnosed with type one diabetes 11 years ago, had been in a relationship for 12 years with Hopkin. 

He said he used an electronic system made up of two devices: the first part attached to his body via a cannula to dispense insulin, and the second part to measure insulin levels in his blood. 

He went to bed at 11:30pm, following an argument with Hopkin. He said Hopkin, who he believed had drunk three bottles of wine, had followed him upstairs and continued to argue with him. 

Later, he was reading a book in bed, when he felt his insulin pump vibrate twice. He took it out to examine it and saw it was administering insulin. 

He went downstairs and said he saw Hopkin put the Bluetooth device between her body and a pillow. The device was lit up meaning it had been switched on. He called the police and an ambulance also attended the address. 

He said Hopkin had not been given permission to check his blood levels, switch on the device or administer insulin to him. 

An industry expert said insulin deliveries occurred at 1am, 2.06am and 2.10am on 13 August 2017, all programmed by the Bluetooth meter. The pump alone was activated at 2.07am and 2.08am. 

There were no faults on the device. Hopkin said she had placed the meter on a table to charge and said that the pump sometimes discharged if he rolled over onto it. 

She was sentenced to 9 months, suspended for 18 months, on 8 March. 

Detective Constable Ian Emmens, of Staffordshire Police, said: “This was a serious and troubling case. Laura Hopkin was able to administer insulin remotely, so it is fortunate her partner was awake and noticed the pump working. 

“She breached a position of trust and we are glad she has been sentenced for this cruel and dangerous act.”

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