Pair who caged sons get longer jail terms
Nine months `unfit' sentence, court rules
Mother now gets 5 years, father 4 years
The Toronto Star, TRACEY TYLER, LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER, Nov. 5, 2004
Nine months in jail is a "demonstrably unfit" sentence for a Blackstock couple who beat and caged their adoptive sons, crimes that were "shocking to the conscience of the community" and "cry out for a significant penitentiary sentence," the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled.
"The facts as found by the trial judge unequivocally establish the horrendous abuse of two young boys by their parents for more than a decade," Justice Eleanore Cronk wrote on behalf of the court, which set aside the widely criticized sentences yesterday.
In a 3-0 decision, the court sent the mother to prison for five years, and sentenced the father to four years in penitentiary. The provincial reformatory terms imposed by a trial judge last July failed to reflect the gravity of the couple's conduct or their breach of trust in relation to their sons, who were 15 and 14 when they were apprehended in June 2001, the court said.
"The sentences imposed here must clearly signal society's abhorrence and condemnation of the prolonged child abuse inflicted by the respondents," said Cronk, with Justices James MacPherson and Jean-Marc Labrosse in agreement.
"Stated simply, the appalling abusive conduct of the respondents cannot be tolerated and must be met with severe sanction,'' the court said.
The couple, who assumed care of the boys in 1988, pleaded guilty last February to two counts each of forcible confinement, assault with a weapon and failing to provide the necessaries of life. They were sentenced to nine months on July 5. At the time, Justice Donald Halikowski of the Ontario Court of Justice described their treatment of their sons as "barbaric" and tantamount to "near torture," noting the boys had been abused virtually their whole lives until being apprehended by the Childrens' Aid Society in June, 2001.
As young children, they were initially tethered, made to sleep in a dog cage and, later, a locked cage constructed out of cribs. Although their parents did not testify in court, witnesses told Halikowski during a fact-finding hearing earlier this year that the father struck the boys with a slipper while the mother hit them with a shoe horn.
Halikowski concluded the boys suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome. Their birth mother abused both alcohol and drugs and enlisted her sister to raise her sons when she was no longer willing to do so herself, the judge said. What started out as a series of misguided but well-intentioned acts to address the hyperactivity and discipline problems stemming from their medical condition descended darkly into abusive behaviour, the judge said.
While Halikowski painted a "heart-wrenching" portrait of the abuse and engaged in a "thoughtful and thorough" review of factors to be taken into account in sentencing, what should have figured prominently in his analysis and sentencing was consideration of the parents' tremendous breach of trust, Cronk said
The couple's "moral blameworthiness" and the seriousness of their crimes were heightened by Halikowski's finding that they knew their conduct was inappropriate, she said.
The court moved swiftly in setting aside the sentences. Yesterday's decision came less than three weeks after the crown's appeal of the sentences was argued in court.
James L. Dubray, executive director of Durham Children's Aid, said "the court has validated the outrage that was expressed by many people across the country when the initial sentence was handed down."
The Associated Press, Published Wednesday, September 14, 2016
WARNING: This story contains disturbing details.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The mother of a 10-year-old New Mexico girl found dead and dismembered told police she sought men online and at work to sexually assault her daughter, according to warrants obtained by the Albuquerque Journal.
Michelle Martens told police that she had set up encounters with at least three men to sexually assault her daughter, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The child's death sparked vigils and outcry across the state.
Canadian Press, (various newspapers across Canada, including the Toronto Star) Aug. 16, 2006.
ISLE LA MOTTE, Vt. A Montreal mother recovering from alleged self-inflicted wounds will be charged in the coming days with murdering her 8-year-old son, whose body was found in Lake Champlain, a Vermont state attorney said today.
I am going to prepare a charge of first-degree murder, Grand Isle States Attorney David Miller said in a telephone interview. Read More ..
Australian Associated Press
December 05, 2008
A WOMAN who killed her infant son by jumping with him from the eighth floor of a city apartment block has walked free after being convicted of manslaughter.
Yeeda Topham, 40, of Roleystone near Perth, had pleaded guilty in the West Australian Supreme Court to a charge of unlawfully killing 21-month-old James Topham on November 5 last year. Read More ..
Fire Officials Claim Fire Intentionally Set
NBC4-TV, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
LOS ANGELES, USA -- Murder charges are expected to be filed against a woman whose infant son's body was found in a washing machine after firefighters doused what they say was an intentionally set fire, authorities said Tuesday.
Latunga Starks, 32, was taken into custody last night, according to the Sheriff's Department Web site.
Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Dennis Shirey identified the mother and her nearly 3-month-old son, Michael Kelvin Thompson.
The Toronto Star, By Peter Small, Courts Bureau, March 01, 2008
Xuan (Linda) Peng has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the drowning death of her 4-year-old autistic daughter Scarlett in a bathtub in the family home.
A Superior Court jury returned its verdict Saturday morning after two days of deliberations.
Scarlett Chen was discovered unconscious by her distraught father David Chen in the tub on the second floor of the family's townhouse on Rosebank Dr., near Markham Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E. on July 12, 2004.
Peng told police that she had put their daughter down for a nap in the adjoining bedroom, and had no idea she had climbed into the bathtub, which the woman had filled with water to clean some kitchen utensils.
However, seven months later, homicide detectives charged the 36-year-old Chinese immigrant with first-degree murder. The charges were later reduced to second-degree murder. Read More ..
Associated Press, Globe and Mail, Tuesday, May. 13, 2003, Page A15
TYLER, TEX. -- A woman accused of fatally beating two of her sons with rocks spent Mother's Day sobbing and muttering in a jail cell.
Deanna LaJune Laney, 38, remained on suicide watch yesterday at Smith County Jail, where she was held in lieu of a $3-million (U.S.) bond on capital-murder and aggravated-assault charges.
Ms. Laney is accused of killing Joshua Laney, 8, and Luke Laney, 6, and injuring their 14-month-old brother, Aaron. The toddler remained in critical condition yesterday at a Dallas Hospital.
In a call to emergency workers early Saturday, Ms. Laney reported that she had just "bashed their heads in with a rock," Sheriff J. B. Smith said. Read More ..
Investigation into the Death of Zachary Andrew Turner (18 July 2002 to 18 August 2003)
Zachary Turner, a 13 months old baby, died at the hands of his fugitive mother, Dr. Shirley Turner, who killed him and then committed suicide on August 18, 2003.
Turner was facing extradition to the United States to stand trial for the 2001 murder of Dr. Andrew Bagby, Zachary's father.
28-year-old Dr. Andrew Bagby was found shot to death in Keystone State Park, 55 kilometres northeast of Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A.
Turner fled to Newfoundland, Canada where Zachary was born. She was out on bail against the wishes of U.S. authorities at the time of Zachary's death. Read More ..
Canada's largest national newspaper
The Globe and Mail
October 6, 2006
Toronto - As a female friend of Frances Elaine Campione put it, this after Ms. Campione was charged on Wednesday with murder in the death of her two young children, "That mother needs a hug."
In that line, widely repeated in Toronto and national media outlets, is a telling clue to what is so wrong with much of what happens both in the nation's family courts and in its child-protection system -- the pervasive view of the female of the species as constantly nurturing (except, you know, when she allegedly kills) and as in need of constant nurture (hugs all 'round, no matter what).
For the record, Ms. Campione was arrested two days ago after she phoned 911 to report that there were two dead children inside her Barrie, Ont., apartment, and shortly after, didn't police arrive to find the bodies of her own little girls, one-year-old Sophia and three-year-old Serena.
She and her estranged husband Leo were reportedly in the throes of a nasty custody battle, with Mr. Campione accused of assaulting his wife and the older child, and Ms. Campione allegedly alarmed, and/or depressed, at the prospect of losing that fight.
And The Globe has confirmed that involved with the family was the Children's Aid Society of Simcoe County. At the moment, the nature of that involvement is unknown -- except as it has been reported by neighbours who saw social workers at the apartment and say that, for a time recently, the girls lived with their paternal grandparents.
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.
The Associated Press, U.S.A., November 4, 2014
NEWPORT, Ore. -- A woman who said she threw her 6-year-old son off a historic bridge on the Oregon coast was arrested after the boy's body was found in the bay, police said.
Police and firefighters in the coastal city of Newport, Lincoln County deputies and the Coast Guard searched the bay with boats and a helicopter after Jillian Meredith McCabe, 34, of Seal Rock called 911 at 6:25 p.m. Monday to report throwing her son off the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
The boy's body was found at 10:23 p.m. in the bay after it was spotted near the Embarcadero Resort, police said.
Days after buying another woman Valentine's Day flowers, a Sydney father came home to find a trail of blood leading him to the bodies of his two young children lying next to their mother, a court has been told.
Australian Associated Press
Aug 24 2009
The woman had given the couple's three-year-old daughter and four-year-old son rat poison and an unidentified pink liquid before smothering them and killing them, court papers said.
She then tried to take her own life, the NSW Supreme Court was told.
Doctors agree the mother, from Canley Heights in Sydney's west, was suffering from "major depression" when she poisoned her children on February 19 last year.
She has pleaded not guilty to the two murders by reason of mental illness.
As her judge-alone trial began, the mother's lawyer told Justice Clifton Hoeben his client didn't think life was worth living after learning about her husband's affair.
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.
The Toronto Star, April 3 2013
A woman has been sentenced to 27 months in prison in connection to the death of her nine-week-old son in a bizarre case where the infant boy's body has yet to be recovered.
Both parents Ricky Ray Doodhnaught, 32, and Nadia Ayyad, 24, have been implicated in the case that dates back to November 2011 when Children's Aid workers along with York Regional Police attempted to seize two children under a court order from a Vaughan home.
Associated Press, USA, published in Toronto Star, Oct. 24, 2019
LAS VEGAS USA- A Las Vegas woman who waged a court custody battle for her 6-year-old son set the boy afire earlier this month, igniting a house fire that killed them both, police and arson investigators found. Gasoline was detected on first-grader Gavin Palmer’s clothing, and the deaths of the boy and his mother, Renai Palmer, were investigated as a rare arson murder-suicide, Las Vegas police homicide Lt. Ray Spencer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a Wednesday report. The Clark County coroner’s office said Thursday the cause and manner of the two deaths remained under investigation.