Parents assaulted preemie breaking his bones
Toronto Star, Thursday, October 28, 2004; B1
A Toronto couple convicted of breaking their four-pound baby’s bones, inflicting six fractures, wants him back and is seeking a six-month, stay-at-home sentence.
Within 10 days of coming home from hospital in 2002, the baby’s parents,
“Kerry” and “Stan,” severed their son’s left thigh-bone, caused four shearing-type injuries on the right leg and a broken rib.
Yesterday, the couple held hands in the font row of the courtroom as their lawyers portrayed them as a tragedy-struck young mom and a child-abuse survivor.
The child is now 2 years old, healthy and living in foster care under the care of the Children’s Aid Society. His identity is protected by a publication ban.Defence lawyers, Edward Prutschi and Aitan Lerner urged Justice Peter Jarvis to give their clients six-month conditional sentences for aggravated assault and failing to provide the necessities of life in June 2002.
Crown Attorney Cara Sweeny sharply disagreed. She wants the court to impose an 18 to 24 month jail term against a couple she holds “equally responsible and culpable.” Jarvis will pass sentence on Wednesday.
“The sentence shouldn’t be crushing or crippling to her rehabilitation,” Prutschi argued. “(A jail sentence) isn’t going to produce a better person.”
“Kerry” blushed as her lawyer praised her as a goal-oriented 23 year old not “spinning her wheels.” “I cannot picture life without my son – a precious joy sent from above,” wrote “Kerry” in her “feelings” letter filed in court yesterday.
“Do I have a choice? Or do I let someone else parent ‘Mike.’ I choose to parent him. Right now I cannot. My choice was taken away from me. I experienced the total bankruptcy of being a parent.”
Sweeny said neither parent has shown the slightest remorse or accepted responsibility.
While the infant must have been in excruciating pain, Sweeny said, the couple waited 24 hours until their baby’s doctor’s appointment before being forced to bring him to Sick Kids hospital.
“Mikey” was born seven weeks premature, a vulnerable two-pound, two-ounce infant, and spent seven weeks in hospital before being released under CAS care to “Kerry” and “Stan”.
“Kerry” testified she had no idea how “Mikey” was injured, but she recalled him jumping off her chest and her clutching him as he slept the night before he was taken to hospital.
The jury heard the injuries couldn’t because in this fashion but were likely caused by forceful twisting and shaking.
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