Judge ponders 90-day sentence in Ontario child death case



OWEN SOUND, Ont. -- A judge said he wants to think about a 90-day jail sentence recommended for a man who pleaded guilty Monday to criminal negligence causing the death of his 13-month-old daughter.

Superior Court Justice Terrence O'Connor expressed concern that the sentence proposed by the Crown and defence counsel for Robert Lauder, to be served on weekends and followed by 12 months probation, is too lenient.

“Ninety days to be served on weekends for an offence as severe as this is giving me some trouble. I have to think it through,” O'Connor said.

O'Connor adjourned his decision until Feb. 15 and asked the lawyers involved to provide any additional case law that might help him. He said he may still go along with the jointly recommended sentence after reading all submissions and researching the law.

Lauder, 28, pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death of his 13-month-old daughter Ava, by allowing the child access to his prescription pain medication, hydromorphone, on Nov. 5, 2010, in his Springmount, Ont., home.

Grey County Crown attorney Michael Martin and defence lawyer Brian Barrie arrived at their agreed position on sentence after discussions and after the completion of a preliminary inquiry.

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