Fa­ther guilty of mur­der in death of daugh­ter found in suit­case

Ever­ton Bid­der­s­ingh con­victed of 1994 killing

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

A fa­ther ac­cused of starv­ing or drown­ing his teenaged daugh­ter two decades ago was con­victed of first-de­gree mur­der on Thurs­day af­ter weeks of graphic and dis­turb­ing tes­ti­mony about the hor­rific abuse she suf­fered be­fore she died.

Ju­rors took about four hours to find an im­pas­sive Ever­ton Bid­der­s­ingh guilty in the death of 17-year-old Melonie Bid­der­s­ingh, which car­ries a manda­tory life sen­tence with­out pa­role for 25 years.

“I cer­tainly hope Melonie can rest more peace­ful tonight,” said Toronto Det.-Sgt. Steve Ryan shortly af­ter the de­ci­sion.

Su­pe­rior Court Jus­tice Al O’Marra had sent the ju­rors to de­lib­er­ate af­ter con­clud­ing a charge he had started a day ear­lier by out­lin­ing pros­e­cu­tion and de­fence po­si­tions.

The Crown main­tained Bid­der­s­ingh, 60, drowned or starved his daugh­ter af­ter a pe­riod of pro­longed abuse, or that she died while her fa­ther un­law­fully con­fined her in the small Toronto apart­ment they shared with her step­mother, Elaine Bid­der­s­ingh.

“They treated Melonie like a slave,” O’Marra told ju­rors in sum­ming up the pros­e­cu­tion’s case.

“She was im­pris­oned and phys­i­cally.”

The teen, whose charred re­mains were found stuffed in a suit­case in an iso­lated in­dus­trial area, had come to Canada from Ja­maica for a bet­ter life.

In­stead, by the time of her death, she weighed a skele­tal 50 pounds and had 21 bro­ken bones in var­i­ous stages of heal­ing. A veg­etable was found in her vagina.

At no time was she al­lowed to leave the apart­ment, spend­ing count­less hours chained to fur­ni­ture, stuffed in a tiny closet, or locked out on a bal­cony. Her fa­ther, ac­cord­ing to one wit­ness, would kick her and force the help­less vic­tim’s head into a toi­let and then flush.

O’Marra had told the seven women and five men on the panel they could find Bid­der­s­ingh guilty of lesser of­fences such as sec­ond-de­gree mur­der, at­tempted mur­der or man­slaugh­ter if they couldn’t

emo­tion­ally agree on a first-de­gree mur­der con­vic­tion.

Sev­eral hours into their de­lib­er­a­tions, court re­sumed when ju­rors sought clar­i­fi­ca­tion on the law re­lated to forcible or un­law­ful con­fine­ment and a short while later, they re­turned their ver­dict.

Ac­cord­ing to the Crown, O’Marra told them ear­lier, Bid­der­s­ingh knew the girl could die but never sought med­i­cal at­ten­tion be­cause her body was “rid­dled with signs of abuse.”

Af­ter she died, Bid­der­s­ingh main­tained his daugh­ter had run away.

He never filed a miss­ing per­son’s re­port.

It was only in 2011 that his wife told a pas­tor what had hap­pened, al­low­ing po­lice to iden­tify the teen’s re­mains and lay charges in March 2012.

For its part, the de­fence ar­gued that ex­perts had con­cluded the teen drowned but no ev­i­dence shows her fa­ther ac­tu­ally did it.

In­stead, the de­fence said Elaine Bid­der­s­ingh, 54, drowned her step­daugh­ter be­cause she hated her and be­lieved she was pos­sessed by the devil.

Canada’s veter­ans om­buds­man says he’ll stay at his post, even though the new Lib­eral gov­ern­ment has asked him to step aside.

Guy Par­ent said he has a lot to ac­com­plish dur­ing the three­year re­newal of his man­date, ap­proved in the wan­ing hours of the Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment — and he in­sists he was never a par­ti­san ac­tor.

“I don’t see my ap­point­ment as a po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ment,” Par­ent said Thurs­day, not­ing that he has al­ready in­formed the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment that he plans to carry on with his du­ties.

Just be­fore Christ­mas, Lib­eral House leader Do­minic LeBlanc sent let­ters to 33 Harper gov­ern­ment ap­pointees re­quest­ing that they step aside or turn down their early reap­point­ments. He also sug­gested the re­jected can­di­dates com­pete for the po­si­tions.

Five years ago, Par­ent com­peted for the job af­ter the Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment re­fused to reap­point the coun­try’s first veter­ans om­buds­man, re­tired colonel Pat Stogran. On Jan­uary 21, 2015 The PEI Baby Book will hit doorsteps and new­stands across PEI as well as our web­sites. Make sure your baby is in­cluded!

your photo and in­for­ma­tion to The Guardian of­fice in Char­lot­te­town or Mon­tague or the Jour­nal Pioneer of­fice in Summerside. Please in­clude a photo and the fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tion: baby’s name, birth­date, par­ents and grand­par­ents names.

Par­ent

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