A woman in Scotland is at the centre of a media storm after putting a child with Down's syndrome in a washing machine and posting a picture of it on Facebook.

Courtney Stewart, 21, has since hit back at her critics who reported her to police for her antics, saying that the two-year-old boy – who was in her care at the time – crawled into the machine of his own accord and said it was only "a laugh".

"Who phoned the police and said ----- was being abused in this pic?" she wrote on Facebook, according to the Daily Record.

"For anybody who knows ----- they'll know he loves washing machines. So take a good look at your life first hen."

She has since taken down the photo after she was reported to police.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Advice was given. Relevant child care checks were made."

Her neighbours in Erskine, Renfrewshire, situated in the lowlands of Scotland, reacted with horror after seeing the photo on Facebook.

One told the paper: "People in the town have been talking about it, because anyone who has seen it has been left shocked."

Stewart was also assaulted by a stranger over the picture. A 42-year-old woman was later arrested over the alleged assault and appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court on 20 July. She did not enter a plea.