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04-07-06, 11:16 PM #1bad to the bone
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Why can't these people just be shot?
Toronto grandparents who starved boy to death guilty of second-degree murder
at 20:13 on April 7, 2006, EST.
By MIKE OLIVEIRA
TORONTO (CP) - The grandparents of a five-year-old boy who was locked up and left to wither and die in a cold, fetid room were convicted of second-degree murder Friday in what police described as one of the worst cases of child abuse Canada has ever seen.
Fifty-four-year-old Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman, 53, were supposed to save Jeffrey Baldwin and his siblings from a life of abuse at the hands of their birth parents.
Instead, the pair used the children as a source of income, collecting government support cheques in their names while confining the young ones to what police described as "a horrible room" that was "harsh, dark, cold and damp."
"This has been one of the most horrific child abuse cases involving murder that I've ever come across - in fact, I think, that this nation has ever seen," said Toronto police Det. Mike Davis, the lead investigator on the case.
Other officers remarked that they'd seen nothing like it in three decades.
Court heard Jeffrey was hidden away in the unheated bedroom for as long as 14 hours a day, breathing in the stench of his own urine and feces.
Police described the child's room as "extremely shocking," with wet uncarpeted floors, mattresses soaked through and littered with stains, bags of filthy diapers throughout, and no toys in sight.
Jeffrey, who weighed just 21 pounds when he died in November 2002, was treated like a dog: he ate out of a bowl with his fingers and often drank from a toilet when he was thirsty.
Jeffrey and his sister - who cannot be named - were locked up so frequently that regular visitors to the home often had no idea they even lived there. Court heard it took several weeks of repeated visits until they finally learned of what was called "bedroom number two."
Although the siblings lived in squalor, the rest of the house was normal, including the living quarters of other children living in the house, court was told.
The tragic details of Jeffrey's short life were read once more into the record Friday in a lengthy decision by Justice David Watt, which took around six hours to read.
Emergency crews were shocked when they found Jeffrey's frail body.
Years of malnutrition stunted his growth and destroyed his body, leaving him emaciated without body fat.
Paramedics said he didn't look like any child they'd ever seen before. He was so small, had sunken eyes, and veins and bones jutted from his body. Doctors later said he had more bacteria growth on his skin than they had ever seen.
He died of starvation and pneumonia, weighing less than he did when he turned one-year-old.
When his sister was rescued from the house, she too showed obvious signs of starvation - skinny limbs, a distended belly and open sores.
Jeffrey's paternal grandmother, Susan Dimitriadis, said she was relieved by the verdict, and had been expecting the worst.
"I was afraid they'd get away with it," Dimitriadis said. "They needed to be convicted of this because my grandson is now dead and I miss him."
The grandparents were also found guilty of forcible confinement for the sister's care.
Kidman spent almost the entire day in court hunched over with his head in his hands, looking down. Bottineau stared straight ahead for most of the proceedings but began to slump in her chair as the verdict was being read.
Her lawyer Anil Kapoor had argued his client did not deliberately kill her grandson. He cited a psychologist who testified Bottineau was mentally handicapped with a personality disorder that prevented her from seeing Jeffrey waste away.
But another expert witness, Lisa Ramshaw, contradicted that assessment and said Bottineau had "a higher order of thinking than someone with mental retardation" and lied to protect herself.
Lawyer Catherine Glaister told Watt that Kidman did not plan to kill Jeffrey and had little involvement in the children's lives.
Immediately upon the verdict's release, Ontario's chief coroner declared that an inquest would be held, although no date was made available.
"The circumstances surrounding Jeffrey's death have been a matter of public interest," Dr. Barry McLellan's office said in a release.
"Issues to be addressed at the inquest include the Toronto Catholic Children's Aid Society's involvement in Jeffrey's placement and the role that agency, and others, had in monitoring his well-being prior to his death."
The Catholic Children's Aid Society released a statement saying it deeply regrets Jeffrey's tragic death.
"Knowing that we could have done more to prevent Jeffrey's death has been heartbreaking for everyone involved," said executive director Mary A. McConville.
"The CCAS wishes to assure the public both that we have made substantial changes to our operating practices to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again and that we will co-operate fully with the coroner in the inquest into Jeffrey's death."
The case will resume on April 12 to discuss sentencing.
©The Canadian Press, 2006
04-08-06, 12:16 AM #2Cris1102 GuestOriginally Posted by Daynathepayna
No not "Why can't we just shoot them?"....I wish we could apply and enforce the "eye for and eye" philosophy. They should have to feel the horrow those children had to go through. I just don't get it....How can people do this to a child?????
Reading these kinds of articles makes me sick on my stomach, very very sad and ........ very very angry!!!!
04-08-06, 06:26 PM #3^
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^ What she said!
I think these pond scum should be killed the same way they killed that poor child, with a little extra pain thrown in there for good measure!
04-08-06, 07:13 PM #4Older Than DirtVerified LEO
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It is amazing to me what adults can do to children. At least this one did not get away from punishment. I was found in contempt in Juvenile Court in one case, and fined. My case was not as bad as the one posted, no child died, at least then, but I have often wondered what happened later.
Got a call one night children left alone. Arrived, and found a two story house, apartment down, and apartment up. Went to side door, and the stench of excrement was everywhere. Went in after no reponse. Entered a kitchen area bare of anything other than a table, two chairs, and a refrigerator that was empty. From the kitchen, went into the adjoining bedroom and found three children, later determined to be 6, 4, and 2 years old. All three were naked, and had excrement smeared all over them. The bed was covered with it. The walls were smeared with it. They had it in their hair, and from looks of it, they had made balls out of it, throwing it around the room. There was a bowl of cereal on the floor which they had been eating with their crusted hands. Called a car to transport them to child care. Went looking for someone who knew something. Went upstairs, and lady answered. She said her sister lived downstairs. Asked her did she know condition of her niece and nephews downstairs. Said it was none of her business. Asked where the father was and was told he had been gone a long time. Asked where mother was. At a bar. Went to the bar, found her, made the arrest. I wanted to arrest the Aunt, but was overruled on that. Went to Juvenile Court on mother's charges. She had charges filed away with probation, and much to my surprise, a Social Worker also present, recommended to the Judge that the children be released to the mother's custody. This was done, and at that time, this old country boy exploded with words those city folks had never heard. Wow, that gavel fell like a sledgehammer. A terrible miscarriage of justice for those three kids. I tell you folks, this case took a lot of my heart away from trying to do my job, not entirely, but it had its effect. Up to this time, I thought I was a pretty hard person, but this one really got to me. Sorry this was so long.Facta non verba
"The good Lord set definite limits on man's wisdom, but set no limits on his stupidity — and that's not fair!" — Konrad Adenauer,
04-08-06, 07:29 PM #5Cris1102 GuestOriginally Posted by Magnum440
Here's to you Magnum for standing up for what was right, no matter the consequence.
Last edited by Cris1102; 04-08-06 at 07:40 PM.
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