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Jeffrey labelled `bad,' trial told

Sister told of horrific abuse
`Bad things happened in tub'

Toronto Star, NICK PRON, COURTS BUREAU, Nov. 2, 2005.

The revenge the young girl wanted was clear — her grandparents should be jailed "forever" and get roughed up in prison for killing her younger brother, 5-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin.

And, as a court also heard yesterday, the 8-year-old child said she never wanted to see her mother and father again "because they let it happen."

Eight months after Jeffrey's death on Nov. 30, 2002, the anger that had been bottled up inside the girl boiled over one day in a fit of screaming, crying and cursing, her one-time foster mother recalled. Both her identity and the child's are protected by a court order.

"He was just a little boy," the woman recalled the girl saying, adding that she said she hated "all those assholes" who lived at Jeffrey's east-end home.

It was a reference, in part, to her grandparents, Elva Bottineau, 54, and her 53-year-old husband, Norman Kidman, who have pleaded not guilty to one count each of first-degree murder and unlawful confinement.

Jeffrey died from septic shock after prolonged starvation.

The foster mother told prosecutor Beverley Richards how she kept a diary of what Jeffrey's three siblings — two girls and a boy — said about their life with Bottineau and Kidman. The grandparents were given custody of the children under a court order after allegations of abuse were made against their mother.

The court has heard from other witnesses that the children had been branded by the grandparents as the "good kids" and the "bad kids," with Jeffrey and one sister being seen as bad.

When they first went to the foster home, Jeffrey's brother wanted to know where the "pig wall" was located because that's where Jeffrey and a sister had been ordered to sit at their grandparents' home, the foster mother recalled him asking.

The oldest child was "horrified" when her younger sister sat at the table with her to eat because back at her grandparents' house neither she nor Jeffrey were allowed to eat at the table but had to sit on the floor on a mat, she told Richards.

"Pigs don't eat on the floor and pigs don't share the table," she recalled the child telling her.

Gradually, the woman testified, the children divulged that they had "secrets" about life at their grandparents' house.

One girl blurted out that "bad things happened in the tub," going on to say that Kidman would hurt her, and pointed to her vagina, the woman recalled.

Her sister then described how Kidman would hit them with a metal spoon until their buttocks bled, she said.

Everyone in the house knew that Jeffrey was dying, the oldest girl told the foster parent, she recalled. The day before Jeffrey died he had to take his regular forced march around the kitchen for exercise, but he was so weak he collapsed, she recalled the child saying.

And with a representative from the Catholic Children's Aid society making notes in the gallery, the foster mother testified she recalled the girl asking her: "Why didn't they (CCAS) come before Jeffrey got sick?"