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Canadian Press

Montreal father of missing girl found in B.C. still fighting to see her

The Canadian Press, ANDY BLATCHFORD, May 12, 2009

MONTREAL - A Montreal father is still waiting for a "miracle" reunion with his 10-year-old daughter who resurfaced last month in Vancouver, more than two years after she vanished.

Transit police found Ashley Gonis after she ran away from her mother's Vancouver-area home and called 911 from a commuter train station several kilometres away.

It's now been over a month since she turned up, but her father Frank, who has sole custody, said Tuesday he still isn't allowed to speak to her.

Instead, Ashley's mother, who Quebec police allege abducted the child, is preparing to restart the family custody fight on a new battlefield - a British Columbia court.

Gonis, who had packed his daughter's teddy bears, clothes and drawings into boxes because it was too painful to look at them while she was missing, described her reappearance as a "miracle." His jubilation, however, has since eroded.

"(It's like) there's a nightmare, you wake up and then the nightmare comes back - and now here we go, Round 2," he said.

"Parents shouldn't have to go through stuff like this."

The home renovator fears the bitter custody battle in Montreal that cost him around $30,000 will restart in B.C. - even though the woman is a fugitive in Quebec.

Montreal police issued an arrest warrant last year for Araceli Bravo for alleged parental abduction, but it is enforceable only in Quebec.

"We're still working with the court systems to get the warrant extended to B.C.," Montreal police Sgt. Ian Lafreniere said Tuesday.

"The kid is safe, this is the main point." The distraught child called 911 on April 10 from a pay phone, telling officers she was escaping an abusive situation at home. Vancouver police later said the allegation was unsubstantiated. Gonis still hasn't seen or spoken to the little girl since before she disappeared in January 2007.

"I never expected to run into this type of problem," said Gonis, who went to Vancouver shortly after she was found.

"They're acting in B.C. like I'm the bad one. What's a court decision from Quebec worth?"

In several letters to his daughter, Gonis told her he would buy her whatever she wanted. He also sent her a photo of her bed, made up the way she always kept it. But he alleges Bravo brainwashed the girl and that she is now afraid of him.

"She's very tentative," he said of his child.

Messages left at the office of Bravo's lawyer in B.C. were not returned.

Edward Kruk, a University of British Columbia social work professor, said the B.C. government has been negligent in not helping Gonis reunite with his daughter.

"This is really the priority here," said Kruk, a child custody expert. "They should be doing a lot more in terms of family support, family reunification and preservation."

The director of the group that helped Gonis in his search said provincial borders can create legal snags when it comes to resolving cases of parental abduction.

"It's very frustrating - and that's an understatement," said Pina Arcamone of Enfant-Retour Quebec.

"It's been over a month now that he's learned about the whereabouts of his daughter and he's very close to bringing her home (but) it's still not close enough."

Gonis, meanwhile, said he plans to use everything he's learned from this experience to help other parents.

"Ashley's coming home to me, where she belongs," he said. "But after it's over I'm going to work to get the laws changed. This is not right. This shouldn't happen to any parent."

© The Canadian Press, 2009

Associated Press logo

Woman convicted of killing 3 kids after custody battle


HELSINKI, Finland - A court in Finland has convicted a woman of murdering her three young children and has given her a life sentence.

The Espoo District Court says Thai-born Yu-Hsiu Fu was found guilty of strangling her 8-year-old twin daughters and 1-year-old son in her home.

She tried to kill herself afterward.

The verdict on Tuesday says the 41-year-old woman was found to be of sound mind at the time of the murders.

Court papers show the murders were preceded by a bitter custody battle with her Finnish husband who was living separately from her at the time of the murders.

A life sentence in Finland mean convicts usually serve at least 11 years in prison.

Canadian Press - New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.

Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.

Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.

It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.

At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences.

Mothers Who Kill Their Children
Canadian Press - Mother child abuse - sentenced 16 years in jail

Ontario woman convicted of son's starvation death granted full parole

Canadian Press
Wednesday, May. 22, 2002

KINGSTON, Ont. (CP) -- An Ontario woman who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in one of Canada's stiffest penalties for child abuse will be released on full parole after serving less than half her term.

Lorelei Turner, 38, and her husband Steven were convicted of manslaughter in July 1995 for beating and starving their three-year-old son John to death in a case that horrified Canadians who followed the trial.

But on Wednesday, a panel of the National Parole Board in this eastern Ontario city ruled Turner will be released but placed on probation until July 2011.

Until then, she must remain within 25 kilometres of her residence, is not allowed unsupervised contact with anyone under 16, and must continue to receive counselling.

"The board would have looked at the risk and obviously found a low risk to reoffend," Carol Sparling of the National Parole Board said Wednesday.

Mainichi Daily News| Woman who cut off her newborn son's genitals handed 5-year prison term

Woman who cut off her newborn son's private parts handed 5-year prison term

Mainichi Daily News, Sakai, Osaka, Japan, November 26, 2006

SAKAI, Osaka -- A woman accused of cutting off her newborn son's private parts in 2004 was ordered Monday to spend five years behind bars.

The Sakai branch of the Osaka District Court convicted Shizue Tamura, 27, a resident of Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, of inflicting bodily injury.

"The way she committed the crime was unprecedented, inhumane and cruel," Presiding Judge Masahiro Hosoi said as he handed down the ruling. Prosecutors had demanded an eight-year prison term.  Read More ..

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Health Canada

Aggressive Girls
Overview Paper

This overview paper summarizes recent research on girls who exhibit aggressive and violent behaviours. It defines relevant terms, outlines factors which may contribute to girls' aggression and violence, and presents ideas for preventing these behaviours. A list of resources is also included. 2002, 13p.