Credits: SUN NEWS NETWORK
The Niagara Falls woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, told Judge Steve Coroza her two-year-old daughter sustained a head injury in 2009 due to a “lapse in judgment” and hopes to one day be reunited with the child, now five.
“I’d rather return to the army and the hell of Afghanistan than cause harm to my children,” the former solider said.
At her sentencing hearing Friday in an Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines, Coroza said the little girl suffered such grievous injuries she could have died if not for the immediate intervention of medical staff.
“The clear duty of a parent is to protect and nurture children,” Coroza said. “(The defendant) failed in this duty by a wide margin.”
The judge said the sentence was appropriate as the woman, who pleaded guilty to the offence at an earlier date, showed “potential for rehabilitation.”
The defendant was also placed on probation for three years and prohibited from being alone with children under the age of 16.
That includes her three children, including a baby born in March.
When the woman was arrested in 2009, one of the stipulations of her bail release was that she have no contact with children.
When police discovered she had given birth to a third child, the woman was charged and convicted of breach of recognizance and sentenced to six months in jail.
Court was told the toddler was injured in June 2009 and spent two-and-a-half months at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, ON.
While the youngster was described as a bright young girl, her father said she still bears the physical and emotional scars of the assault.
“She can’t stand to be left in the dark. She has nightmares and trust issues.”
“The scars on her forehead will never go away. Playtime is done with such caution as not to injure her head.”
The paternal grandmother of the woman’s oldest child, whom she is now raising, told court the woman should not have any contact with her children.
“She doesn’t understand what it means to be a mother. To keep a mother away from a child seems cruel but when a mother doesn’t seem to be a mother, that role has to be passed on to someone who’s up to the task.”
A 26-year-old man was also arrested in connection with the case and charged with aggravated assault and failing to provide the necessities of life.
He was sentenced to 15 months in jail, minus the time he spent in pre-trial custody, in February 201.
He was also placed on probation for three years.