CBN woman con­victed of child abuse

Sen­tenc­ing in high pro­file case sched­uled for July 23

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

The provin­cial court­house in Har­bour Grace was stand­ing room only on May 14 as Judge James Walsh gave his ver­dict in a hor­rific child abuse case in Con­cep­tion Bay North.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic were vis­i­bly un­com­fort­able as Walsh spoke for more than 30 min­utes in the case of a CBN woman charged with nu­mer­ous counts of as­sault, forcible con­fine­ment and crim­i­nal neg­li­gence caus­ing bod­ily harm.

Se­cu­rity was heavy and sher­iff ’s of­fi­cers searched those who en­tered the court­room. Additional of­fi­cers were brought to as­sist with the searches.

The woman, whose iden­tity is banned from pub­li­ca­tion by court or­der, had pleaded not guilty on all counts.

As Walsh read the grue­some de­tails of the case, some gallery mem­bers gasped au­di­bly.

The judge told the court there were times the chil­dren would go to bed and not be al­lowed out un­til morn­ing. The mother would se­cure the doors with rope tied to the banis­ter, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble for them to get out. This meant chil­dren were of­ten forced to soil them­selves dur­ing the night.

Due to the graphic and dis­turb­ing na­ture of many of the charges, The Com­pass has de­cided not to print many of the de­tails.

The case has grabbed the at­ten­tion of the en­tire prov­ince and has stoked a large amount of anger and hate in the com­ments sec­tion of on­line news sites and so­cial me­dia.

Nu­mer­ous con­vic­tions

Due to the large num­ber of charges, of which there were 45, Walsh chose to han­dle them in pieces. He first dealt with the charges of com­mon as­sault.

“The ac­cused is a mother who eas­ily be­came up­set and took her frus­tra­tions out on the chil­dren,” said the judge. Walsh con­victed on six of the nine charges. The woman was con­victed on the as­sault with a weapon charge against her hus­band, while the nine weapon charges against the chil­dren were dis­missed.

Walsh felt ev­i­dence did not prove be­yond rea­son­able doubt these had oc­curred.

The woman was found guilty of will­fully con­tribut­ing to a child be­ing in need of pro­tec­tive in­ter­ven­tion, as well as one charge of cor­rupt­ing chil­dren.

Walsh con­victed the woman of four of 14 charges of crim­i­nal neg­li­gence caus­ing bod­ily harm.

The woman had pre­vi­ously pleaded guilty to five charges of un­law­ful con­fine­ment on May 1.

In to­tal, she will be con­victed on 20 charges.

The woman will re­main in cus­tody un­til a sen­tenc­ing hear­ing on July 23.

De­fense at­tor­ney Jeff Slade re­quested a pre-sen­tenc­ing re­port, while pros­e­cu­tor Lisa Stead an­tic­i­pates sub­mit­ting a vic­tim im­pact state­ment in July.

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