Par­ents found guilty of mur­der in di­a­betic son’s death

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

The painful death of a di­a­betic boy who was so ema­ci­ated he ap­peared mum­mi­fied could have been avoided if his par­ents had not ne­glected him for years, a judge said Fri­day in find­ing the cou­ple guilty of first­de­gree mur­der.

Jus­tice Karen Horner said Emil and Rod­ica Ra­dita were in gross de­nial of their 15-year-old son Alexan­dru’s dis­ease.

“Chil­dren in Canada rarely die from di­a­betes, but proper treat­ment re­quires due dili­gence,’’ Horner said in a Calgary court­room as she gave her ver­dict.

She im­me­di­ately sen­tenced the Ra­di­tas to life in prison with no chance at pa­role for 25 years. They showed no emo­tion.

Alexan­dru, one of eight chil­dren, weighed less than 37 pounds when he died in 2013 of com­pli­ca­tions due to un­treated di­a­betes and star­va­tion.

Horner said it ap­peared that Alex had re­ceived an in­suf­fi­cient level of care for “likely a num­ber of years,’’ even though the Ra­di­tas were fully trained on how to look af­ter him.

Al­berta’s chief med­i­cal ex­am­iner tes­ti­fied at the cou­ple’s trial that an au­topsy showed the teen was se­verely un­der­weight, cov­ered in ul­cers and nearly toothless. There were sev­eral signs the boy had been sub­jected to ne­glect and star­va­tion.

Dr. Jef­fery Gofton said Alexan­dru ap­peared skele­tal with thin hair and sunken eyes. He said the boy was wear­ing a di­a­per and had very lit­tle body fat.

He told court that most of the teen’s teeth had rot­ted down to the root and there was no sign of any den­tal work.

De­fence lawyer An­drea Serink, who rep­re­sented Rod­ica Ra­dita, had ar­gued that the cou­ple didn’t in­tend to kill their son, but were cul­pa­ble for not pro­vid­ing the proper level of care. “The Ra­di­tas are guilty of man­slaugh­ter, not mur­der,’’ she said in her fi­nal ar­gu­ment.

Crown prose­cu­tor Su­san Pep­per said any rea­son­able per­son would have known lack of treat­ment would have fa­tal con­se­quences for Alexan­dru.

“Re­ally the ques­tion is was there an in­ten­tion to with­hold care ? lead­ing to cer­tain con­se­quences that they would ex­pect to have oc­cur?’’ Pep­per said in her fi­nal re­marks.

Wit­nesses tes­ti­fied that the Ra­di­tas re­fused to ac­cept that their son had di­a­betes and failed to treat his dis­ease un­til he was hos­pi­tal­ized near death in Bri­tish Columbia in 2003.

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