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Nanny jailed for poisoning Ann Summers boss

The former nanny of Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold has been jailed for 12 months after admitting attempting to poison the lingerie tycoon with screen wash.

Allison Cox (33), who was hired by Ms Gold to look after her daughter Scarlett, laced two bowls of asparagus soup with the toxic substance in an attempt to get the chef who had prepared it into trouble.

Cox, who also put sugar and salt in Ms Gold's meals on two other occasions, had demonstrated "calculated and deceitful behaviour", a judge said.

The court heard that Ms Gold, who was referred to by her married name of Mrs Cunningham, had been "devastated" when Cox handed in her notice on September 23 last year due to her problems getting on with chef Patricia Edwards.

Outlining the case, the prosecution said that a few days later, on September 29, Ms Gold ate a meal prepared by Ms Edwards but found it "inedible", describing it as tasting like it had a whole jar of salt in it.

When she confronted the chef, she said she was surprised as she had not put any salt in it, and even took it out of the bin to taste it herself, the court heard.

On October 4 Ms Gold also found another meal to be inedible, this time because it had too much sugar in it.

This worried her as she was not meant to have any sugar in her diet for medical reasons, and again the chef said she had not put any in it.

The court heard that the next day Ms Gold's lunch was not ready when she left for her office, so Cox was asked to drop it off.

"Ms Gold took one mouthful, and in her words, instantly knew there was a chemical in her soup and was very strong," the court heard.

When Cox was later confronted about it, she at first denied she knew anything about it before she admitted administering the substances to Ms Gold's food because she "hated Pat".

hnews@herald.ie