Mother-of-three walks free after being accused of lacing husband's chilli with drugs

Telegraph Reporters
Roberta Maasdorp  is accused of lacing her husband Peter Maasdorp's chilli con carne with a cocktail of drugs - Pix supplied as a technical service by Tim Stewart News Limited 07932745508. No copyright inferred o

A mother-of-three was found not guilty of slipping a cocktail of drugs into her husband's chilli con carne after he threatened to file for divorce.

A jury at Croydon Crown Court took less than 40 minutes to clear Roberta Maasdorp of administering a poison with intent, according to the Evening Standard.  

The alleged incident took place on August 11 2015, when her husband Peter arrived home from his shift at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington, at 10pm. 

While both Mr and Mrs Maasdorp were trained nurses she had had to give up work due to mental health problems, he claimed during the trial.

“I generally did most of the things in the house, so it was unusual for her to prepare food but I accepted it,” he said. 

He added: “When I took a mouthful of the food, there was quite a distinct chemical taste to the food, it was chilli con carne that evening that was prepared by Roberta,” he said. “It had a very acidic taste to it, very chemical.

 Roberta Maasdorp was found not guilty by a jury Credit: TIM STEWART NEWS

“I spat the food out on to the plate that I had with me, then went to the bathroom to go and wash my mouth out.”

Mrs Maasdorp initially denied lacing the food with drugs before admitting she had, he told jurors. 

“She was quite agitated and she had quite clearly been drinking that evening,” he added. 

Mr Maasdorp had been questioned by police about allegations that he had assaulted his wife on the day before the alleged poisoning, but this was dropped when he said he had been on a training course that day, the court heard. 

John Evison, prosecuting, told Croydon Crown Court that Mrs Maasdorp had told police her husband had added the drugs to the food himself in order to frame her. 

“She accepted she had made the chilli con carne and bought the ingredients, but denied lacing the food with drugs,” he said. 

Roberta Maasdorp Credit: TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED

During the trial, her barrister Derek Barry accused Mr Maasdorp of “putting a very small amount of medication into your own chilli to make a false allegation against Roberta”. 

Mrs Maasdorp claimed her husband was angry because she had reported him to the police the day before for assaulting her. 

“He had the motive – revenge – for having to go to the police station”, said Mr Barry. "And he would have had access to his wife’s drugs.”

Mrs Maasdorp later told police that she did not trust her husband.

“I’ve been away for a few days because I am scared for my safety,” she said. 

Following the acquittal, Recorder Simon Sterling refused to make a restraining order preventing Mrs Maasdorp from going to the family home unless he was given more evidence that it was necessary. 

She has now moved out to Forest Hill and her husband has custody of their two younger daughters, the court heard. 

Mrs Maasdorp denied and was found not guilty of administering a poison with intent. 

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