Woman, 23, found guilty of breaking both of baby’s legs
Implores judge to let her ‘raise my son the right way’
Toronto Star, Saturday, October 23, 2004; B3
By: Peter Small, Staff Reporter
A Toronto woman convicted of breaking both her premature infant’s legs is begging a judge to give her a chance to once again take over his care.
I am asking you to let this be my turning point, to turning the negative to positive,” the 23 year old mother said in a written statement read out by her lawyer yesterday. “Let me…raise my son the right way.”
Her lawyer, Edward Prutschi, asked Mr. Justice Peter Jarvis to give her a six month conditional sentence – virtual house arrest with strict conditions.
“This would keep her hope alive that she could resume contact with the person whom she describes as the most important person in her life,” Prutschi told Ontario Superior Court.
But crown prosecutor Cars Sweeny said the mother and her 38 year old husband have shown no remorse for fracturing their infants son’s legs leaving him for a day in agony without medical attention.
“For 24 hours their child suffered,” Sweeny told the sentencing hearing. His left leg was broken, and he had four metaphyseal fractures to the right leg, usually caused by jerking or swinging a baby by the wrist or ankle.
Last June, a jury found the couple, who cannot be named to protect the boy’s identity, guilty of aggravated assault and failing to provide the necessities of life. Sweeny asked for a jail sentence for both parents from six months to 4 ½ years.
The mother’s lawyer pointed out that two doctors said that the 4-pound baby had low bone density, making his limbs unusually brittle. Prutschi said the mother did not elude a doctor’s appointment on the Monday after the injuries occurred. Shortly after she gave birth, her husband was jailed on an unrelated issue, and she was left alone to cope. She has never been convicted of a crime before and spent nine days in pre-trial custody, during which a jail guard traumatized her by yelling
“Baby killing walking” as she was escorted in custody, Prutschi said. She has a steady job in a pharmacy, has attended parent counselling and is at very low risk of reoffending,” he said. The baby has made a full recovery and is in foster care, he added.
Aitan Lerner, the father’s lawyer, also asked for a six-month conditional sentence, saying the father suffered abuse growing up and, although he has a criminal record, he committed crimes of dishonesty like fraud and theft, not violence.
The father, a pizza outlet manager, was the one who pointed out one of the boy’s injuries in the doctor’s office, he said.
The judge reserved his decision until next Wednesday.