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Toronto Sun

Burned girl despite pleas

BUT LAWYER WANTS MOM TO GO HOME

By TRACY MCLAUGHLIN, SPECIAL TO THE TORONTO SUN, May 11, 2004

A LITTLE girl would have screamed in agony and begged for mercy as her mother burned her flesh with a hot utensil that she heated on the stove, a Crown attorney told a Newmarket court yesterday. "But instead of mercy, this mother re-heats the spoon to burn again and again," said Michael Demczur in his closing arguments in a case where a 42-year-old mother burned her 8-year-old daughter dozens of times between her.

Court heard the mother did it because the child was acting out in school by bullying and showing her bare chest to the boys in March 2003. She pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon and aggravated assault.

"It boggles the mind," said Demczur who wants a jail sentence to send a message to society.

A former school teacher in the mother's home country of Iran testified burning the flesh of disobedient children is an accepted punishment in lower classes of third world countries.

In court, the mother sat stoned-faced as her lawyer, Darren Sederoff, asked the judge to let her serve a conditional sentence in her home.

"Her only intent was to help the child -- throwing her in jail will not help this family," he said, noting the Children's Aid Society plans to slowly re-integrate the mother back into her home with her husband and two children.

Justice Peter Tetley will make his decision May 28.