Canada
Father guilty of manslaughter in infant's death

Tiffany Rose talks with members of the media outside of the court house in London on Wednesday February 6, 2013.

Credits: CRAIG GLOVER The London Free Press / QMI AGENCY

JANE SIMS | QMI AGENCY

LONDON – He was a helpless little baby born into tragic circumstances with, the judge said, "an unfortunate name."

That name, Kurious George Rose-Desmanche, could be seen as "foreshadowing of the abuse to come."

His mother, Tiffany Rose, was an addict who ignored court orders and broke rules. His father, Rourke Desmanche, was a gang member and a drug dealer.

On Wednesday, Desmanche, 23, was found guilty of manslaughter and assault in the death of his son more than two years ago.

Kurious died after at least two violent shaking incidents, the last one so intense he fell into unconsciousness and cardiac arrest before he was rushed to hospital on Aug. 2, 2010. He was taken off life support and died 25 days later when he was 10 weeks old.

Superior Court Justice Helen Rady noted the Crown's case was circumstantial, but the evidence weighed together pointed to Desmanche's guilt.

Rady reviewed the medical evidence, the testimony from reluctant witnesses, Rose's evidence and Desmanche's choice to hide out and flee to Saskatchewan rather than stay with his dying child.

Desmanche sat motionless in the prisoner's box, leaning over with his hands clasped at his chin and tears in his eyes after the verdict was given. Defence lawyer Carolyn Ayre said they are considering an appeal.

Outside the courthouse, Rose, 29, said she was "happy that there is consequences for actions. It's a long time coming and I think me and my family are very happy what the outcome of the decision was."

Testimony from two neighbours, one who said she'd seen Desmanche shake Kurious, was reviewed by Rady.

Rose had testified she was "pill sick" from weaning herself off drugs and was sleeping on the couch the night Kurious was hurt. She was abruptly awakened by Desmanche who had Kurious, described by his mother as a "fussy baby," in his arms, unresponsive and grey. She yelled at him, "What the (expletive) did you do?"

Desmanche took off after Rose called emergency services, saying she was alone.

Kurious arrived at hospital in grave shape. Medical experts said a baby can't survive longer than 10 minutes after its heart has stopped. That was a key finding, Rady said, because only Desmanche and

Rose were there when Kurious was fatally shaken.

A sentencing date is to be set March12. A Gladue pre-sentence report for First Nations offenders was ordered.

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