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Special needs tutor appears in court charged with poisioning youngsters

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 29, 2014

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A woman who runs an online tutoring service for children with learning difficulties appeared in court today accused of poisoning youngsters.

Mary Kidson, 55, faces three charges of "administering poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm".

She appeared at Hereford Magistrates Court, wearing a bright orange cardigan, and answered only to confirm her name and address.

Kidson, who was initially arrested in March last year, is accused of committing the offences between December 2010 and March 2013.

It is alleged she used hydrocortisone tablets to endanger the life of young children or at least cause grievous bodily harm.

Prosecuting, Adrian Jones said: "This lady faces three very serious charges which are not suitable for this court.

"I also request that the identities of the children involved are kept private."

Defence solicitor Leo Kutrie said he had no comment to make.

The chairman of the bench Mrs Libhin Bromley told Kidson the case would be sent to Worcester Crown Court.

She said: "This case falls outside our jurisdiction and must be sent to crown court.

"You are currently on conditional bail. This will remain the same and you must ensure that you keep to these conditions."

Kidson runs her Smart Processing tutoring company from her £530,000 detached farmhouse, selling home-learning programmes and charging £21 an hour for advice.

Her website says she offers "professional, personalised on-line tutoring" for children as young as three who suffer from conditions including autism and dyspraxia.

Kidson is due to appear at Worcester Crown Court on May 19.

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