London - A mother tried to kill her baby by poisoning her with salt, a court heard on Monday.

She used Google to check safe levels of sodium before allegedly force-feeding it to the 18-month-old.

Her daughter consumed 21-24g – three times the recommended limit for children aged between one and three, Truro Crown Court was told.

Medical staff said it was a miracle the baby had suffered no lasting damage.

The mother, from St Austell in Cornwall, is in her late twenties but cannot be named for legal reasons.

She denies unlawfully and maliciously administering salt in April 2016.

Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said paramedics responding to an emergency call found the child was limp and unresponsive. He added: ‘She was taken to Royal Cornwall Hospital by air ambulance and then on to Bristol for treatment.

‘Medical experts say between 21 and 24g were administered and this had to be done by force-feeding in a drink or runny food. There is no question of the child being able to consume such a quantity of salt and the only person in a position to do so was the defendant. Children never voluntarily eat or ingest such dangerous levels of salt because of the taste and extreme nausea it would cause.’

When the child was admitted to hospital, medical staff presumed it was a case of sepsis before discovering the high sodium levels.

Dr Malcolm Coulthard ruled out dehydration and could find no evidence of kidney failure. Mr Coombe said: ‘The defendant’s search history shows she carried out a search on her phone the day before about what the appropriate amount of salt for an 18-month child is.

‘But she said she did so because her lips were white and she had nephews whose lips went white when they had too much salt.

‘However this was not something she mentioned on the night she went to hospital.

‘The defendant’s behaviour is very curious and it was her mother who contacted the emergency services.’

The trial, which is expected to last all week, continues.