A 30-year-old mother of two children was due in court in Oslo on Thursday, charged with having added vanilla-flavoured mouse poison to her husband’s breakfast cereal. The case has come up during high-season for household use of mouse poison, the sales of which have been restricted in recent years.
The bizarre case of attempted murder was reported by newspaper Aftenposten this week, including details of how mouse and rat poison sales have been restricted in Norway since 2014. Sales reach a peak during the autumn, when rodents seek warmth as temperatures fall and find ways of entering buildings. Only professionals are now allowed to lay out the rat poison that was once widely available, with just small quantities of a lower grade mouse poison suitable for indoor use now available for sale to the general public.
It apparently was strong enough, though, to eventually make the defendant’s husband, a man in his 40s, seriously ill. They lived in a brand-new residential complex at Ensjø in Oslo and she allegedly laced his breakfast cereal with the poison every morning over a period of six weeks beginning in early August.
He fell ill in mid-September and his wife called an ambulance. He was rushed to Oslo University Hospital Ullevål and doctors called police when lab test results showed his blood to be full of what Aftenposten described as alpha-kloralose, the chemical best known from mouse poison. He survived, and his wife was charged with attempted murder.
“This is a very special case,” state prosecutor Guro Hansson Bull told Aftenposten. The woman initially claimed her husband had tried to commit suicide by eating mouse poison. She later admitted that she had bought the mouse poison at a Jernia hardware store in Oslo, and put it in his morning cereal.
She now faces five to six years in prison. She was also charged in 2009 with kidnapping the couple’s first-born child and taking the child home to her mother in Brazil while pregnant with the couple’s second child. She returned to Norway and her husband a year later. The couple is now separated and the man has moved to another neighbourhood in Oslo.