AN education expert who was brought up in East Lancashire has appeared before magistrates charged with administering poison to a girl.

Mary Kidson, 55, originally from Nelson, was accused of three separate offences of administering poison when she appeared before Hereford magistrates today.

Kidson, a former Nelson Grammar student, is behind an online educational resource for children with learning difficulties, and was first arrested in March 2013.

She spoke only to confirm her name and current address in Dymock Road, Ledbury, during the short hearing at Hereford.

Kidson is accused of unlawfully and maliciously administering hydrocortisone tablets, endangering the life or inflicting grievous bodily harm on the alleged victim, between 2010 and March 5, 2013.

She is further alleged to have poisoned the same girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, by giving her oestrogen tablets from February 2011 until 2013.

And she faces a separate charge of administering thyroid extract to the youngster between August 2012 and March 2013.

Kidson did not enter a plea and was granted bail to appear before Worcester Crown Court on May 19 for a plea and case management hearing.