Dad’s ‘reign of terror’ killed daugh­ter, jury hears

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - The Cana­dian Press

TORONTO — A fa­ther’s “reign of terror’’ re­duced his daugh­ter from a happy, healthy child to a starved, emo­tion­ally bro­ken teen, ul­ti­mately killing her, a Crown pros­e­cu­tor told a Toronto court Mon­day as he urged the jury to find the man guilty of first-de­gree mur­der. Ever­ton Bid­der­s­ingh has pleaded not guilty in the death of 17-yearold Melonie, whose charred body was found in a burn­ing suit­case 21 years ago. “His reign of terror over Melonie ul­ti­mately re­sulted in her death,’’ Crown pros­e­cu­tor Mary Humphrey said in clos­ing ar­gu­ments. “But for his ac­tions or his omis­sions, Melonie would have been alive to­day. She would have been 38 years old.’’ The case has taken two decades to get to trial be­cause po­lice weren’t able to iden­tify Melonie’s re­mains un­til they re­ceived a tip that even­tu­ally led to the ar­rest of Bid­der­s­ingh and his wife in March 2012. The trial has heard that Melonie came to Canada from Ja­maica with two broth­ers in 1991, when she was 13, to live with her fa­ther and step­mother. Ju­rors have heard that the girl — who hoped to one day be­come a nurse — was not sent to school and suf­fered bru­tal beat­ings, food de­pri­va­tion and gut-wrench­ing abuse at the hands of her fa­ther. Melonie was treated like a slave, Humphrey said, and was “with­er­ing away’’ be­fore her fa­ther’s eyes but he did not stop mis­treat­ing her.

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