Mother puts Down syndrome toddler son in washing machine ‘for a laugh’



The photo has since been removed from Facebook. Photo / Facebook

A mother was reported to the police after she put a two-year-old boy with Down syndrome in the washing machine for a “laugh”.
Stewart, 21, posted a photograph on Facebook showing an adult’s hand
holding the washing machine door shut with the toddler inside.
said that the boy, who was in her care at the time “loves the washing
machine” adding “We took a picture and it was a laugh.”
However, neighbours reported the incident to the police as they were concerned about the child’s safety.
“It was terrible to look at,” one of Ms Stewart’s neighbours in Erksine, Renfrewshire, told the Daily Record.

“For anyone, let alone someone who is also a parent, to take a
picture like that and stick it on Facebook for a laugh is unbelievable.
It’s no wonder people are angry about it.
“People in the town have been talking about it, because anyone who has seen it has been left shocked.”
Stewart claimed that the boy, who is small for his age, climbed into
the machine of his own accord, and criticised those who reported her to
police, calling it “absolutely ridiculous”.
She said: “He is
clearly laughing in the pictures. So I don’t understand why somebody
took that picture as – well, I don’t know what they took it as.
“What did they think I was doing to him? Taking him for a spin?
“He’s got a bit of a washing obsession. Anyone who knows him would know he’s got a washing obsession.
“I don’t know who reported it. I don’t really know why they would do that. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Ms Stewart took down the photo from Facebook after she was reported to the police.
“It’s horrible having the police at the door thinking you’re a bad person,” she said.
was shocked, but in a sense I’m glad they didn’t just take it as a joke
and not come and see me. So I was thankful in that way.”
She added that two police officers questioned her for over an hour before leaving without pressing charges.
A police spokeswoman confirmed Stewart had been spoken to. She said: “Advice was given. Relevant child care checks were made.”
Ms Stewart said that since posting the picture last Thursday, she has been physically attacked by a complete stranger.
said: “I got assaulted by a woman. She came to my door and said I was a
f****** nutter and she wouldn’t let me anywhere near her kids.
“It happened on my doorstep at 11 o’clock in the morning. I got assaulted in my own home.”
42-year-old woman was arrested over the alleged assault. She appeared
at Paisley Sheriff Court on Monday and the case was continued without
plea for a week.
A spokesman from Renfrewshire Council said: “We
can’t comment on individuals but we are vigilant on any issue which
could potentially affect the welfare of a child.”

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