Canada
Killers' jailhouse babies in custody battle

Anees Chaudary is led into a Brampton courthouse at his 1982 trial. He was convicted of murder and would later meet Sarabjit Minhas, who was also convicted of murder. The two married and had three children while in jail.

Credits: FILE PHOTO

TOM GODFREY | QMI AGENCY

TORONTO -- Convicted child killer Amina Chaudary gave birth to three kids in jail and left them for others to raise as she enjoyed prison perks, obtaining two university degrees, a hairdressing licence and a nose job.

Chaudary, 50, saw one child for nine days, another for one month and a third for four months in her cell before they were taken away and given to friend, Lina Lapoint, to care for. Lapoint is the legal guardian of the youngest daughter.

The children's father, Anees (Charlie) Chaudary, 48, was serving a life term for murdering a young man when he and Amina became involved in a relationship.

The story of the murderous couple and their jailhouse marriage and family attracted national headlines for years but has faded from public view. The cellblock babies are now teens, who never want to see their mother again, Lapoint told QMI Agency in a rare interview.

The children, who range in age from 15 to 19, each suffer from autism of varying severity and two may not know that their parents gave birth to them while serving time for murder.

The youngest daughter suffers from mild autism and requires care, Lapoint said. Another child suffers severe autism and has been placed in a home, and the third suffers from Asberger's Syndrome, she said.

Lapoint has never spoken about the children before and has deep emotional ties to them. She looks after them as they are her own.

Anees and Amina knew each other growing up in east Toronto before being re-acquainted in jail by social workers. The couple were allowed to marry in prison and had conjugal visits during which Amina became pregnant.

Two of the children live with families outside Ontario and their guardians have asked that their names not be made public.

"The older two don't know much about their parents due to their disease," Lapoint said. "And a greatest fear of the youngest is that people will connect her to her parents."

Amina, who changed her name from Sarabjit Minhas, was serving a 25-year life sentence after being found guilty of strangling to death Rajesh Gupta, 8, a nephew of her former lover. She left his 39-kilogram body facedown and shoeless on a snow-covered dead-end street near a factory.

Her lover had run off to India to wed a Hindu woman in an arranged marriage. Amina, who was already married and had a child, was left behind pregnant and bent on revenge.

Not a Canadian citizen, she faces deportation to India because of the conviction, officials said.

Anees, a former Pearson airport limousine driver, was convicted of shooting and killing teenager Navneet "Lucky" Uppal in 1988 in "a cold-blooded execution" to avenge a friend's stabbing.

He was sent to the slammer in 1984 for 25 years, and is out on day parole and seeking full parole. He has filed documents in court seeking custody of the children.

Amina is also on day parole and is expected to be released soon from Grand Valley Institution for Women, near Kitchener, ON.

She has managed to obtain two university degrees, a hairdressing licence, save thousands of dollars and get a nose job in jail.

Her life was on the upswing in 2006, when she was given conditional release by the National Parole Board. She and Anees bought a home in Kingston, Ont., and Amina became the primary caregiver to their two youngest children.

But parole officers arrived at her home without warning and her parole was revoked in November 2009. They accused her of concealing income and assets, and deceiving them about how they financed their home.

The couple have since separated and Amina has tried to have her murder conviction overturned to avoid deportation.

Her claim was dismissed because it was based on circumstantial evidence and that disgraced Dr. Charles Smith was the forensic pathologist involved in the case. His cases were being reviewed due to mistakes found while he worked at the Hospital for Sick Children.

Anees -- while out on day passes -- has faced allegations of making an "inappropriate sexual remark" to a care-giver, inappropriate sexual interest in two girls and "scooping" limo fares at Pearson airport without a licence.

Meanwhile, a bitter Lapoint claimed she was used by Amina for years to drive the children from Thunder Bay, ON, to Kingston to visit their mother in jail while bringing spending money and food.

"I have neglected my own kids over the years because I was taking care of hers," she said. "I really love the kids, though, and I am their godmother."

She claimed she was dragged into the jailhouse tragedy and a love of the children made her continue.

"At first I felt sorry for her (Amina) and I came down every six months to visit her in jail," Lapoint said. "I loved the children and was looking after them."

Efforts to reach Annes and Amina for interviews were unsuccessful.

"The youngest child does not want anything to do with her mother," Lapoint said. "One thing though is that the kids love their dad. They were always happy to see him."

She said Amina hasn't asked to visit the children in more than a year.

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