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October 16, 2009

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Man jailed for giving toddler cigarette

A BRITISH man who gave a three-year-old girl a cigarette to smoke while another child filmed it was yesterday jailed for 18 months.

Graeme Conroy, 31, handed the lit cigarette to the little girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and encouraged her to inhale it, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

He then persuaded a 14-year-old child to film the incident, which occurred in February, on a mobile phone. He could be heard laughing as the girl puffed away.

Conroy was caught after a 16-year-old witness reported what had happened to police.

"She had finished it and put it out in the ashtray," the witness told officers.

Prosecutor Tony Glover said the little girl had smoked two cigarettes before the witness arrived and was seen to have smoked another three.

Conroy admitted an offence of wilfully ill-treating, neglecting or exposing a child in a manner likely to cause suffering or injury to health.

"You evidently thought it would be funny if she was allowed to smoke cigarettes and you could take a video of what was going on," Judge David Wood told him.

"I expect you realize now this was not funny at all."


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