SIX NATIONS — The Six Nations mother of a 17-month old who died under suspicious circumstances on January 13th 2011, was sentenced on Friday to 3 years in prison for her part in her son’s death.
Due to a publication ban, the names of those involved in the child’s death can not be revealed.
The court was told of a number of serious injuries the pathologist found in the body of the 17-month-old, which included, among other things, a skull fracture, multiple bruises and a fractured leg that would have made walking impossible.
Justice Robert Reid ruled that according to testimony given during the trial by the pathologist who did the autopsy on the child, the number and extent of the child’s injuries produced “strep 3 pneumonia, due to the child’s weakened condition”, which was recorded as the official cause of death.
“The pathologist’s opinion was that his injuries were not accidental, and I consider that to be an understatement,” Justice Reid said. The mother plead guilty when the trial began several months ago, but changed that to not guilty. Then, just before the trial, she changed it back to a guilty plea.
She was not alone in the abuse of her child. Her husband at the time has already been sentenced for criminal negligence causing death and is serving a four and a half year term in prison for his part in the death caused by neglect and abuse.
The family is known by the Brant Family and Children’s Centre who have a file on the parents including domestic violence, substance abuse and other matters of concern. The family went into hiding at some point to avoid intervention by CAS. They eventually lost custody of their other children for a time with the toddler being the last to be returned after the mother and father showed signs of rehabilitation.
In his sentencing, Justice Reid took into account the horrific upbringing the mother herself endured at the hands of her parents, as well as the violently abusive relationship with her husband which was further complicated by drug and alcohol abuse.
The woman’s defense lawyer, Sarah Dover, told the court of the changes her client has made in her life since then and asked for six to 12 months while the Crown urged the judge to impose a five year sentence. He settled on three years, minus time served