An Alberta mother found guilty of breaking the ankles of her two-year old daughter has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.
The woman, who can only be identified as S.N.A. due to a publication ban, was convicted in December of several offences — aggravated assault, assault causing bodily harm and failing to provide the necessaries of life.
Prior to sentencing Friday, defence lawyer Kiran Janda read a statement on behalf of the 26-year-old woman in court because she was “too intimidated” by the Crown to speak herself.
“For as long as I can remember, I have had behavioural issues,” the woman said in the statement.
She said she was bullied at school and eventually dropped out around Grade 10.
“I was lost in life at 18,” said the woman. “At 20, I got pregnant with my daughter … her father was emotionally abusive.”
Janda added that her client never meant to hurt her daughter.
“She was extremely naive,” she told Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Wayne Renke.
The woman had testified at trial that her daughter fell off a toilet in March 2016, but she did not believe the child was in pain and thought she was just weak from a cold and flu.
A few days later, the toddler was dropped off at her grandparents for the weekend.
They noticed the child was in pain and took her to a hospital in Wetaskiwin, south of Edmonton, where X-rays confirmed fractures to both ankles. The girl was then transferred to Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
The Crown’s medical experts who testified at trial said the girl would have had to fall from a balcony to sustain such injuries.
Janda said the girl has recovered and the mother is not a risk to reoffend.
“She does not have her daughter. She has no other kids,” Janda said before asking for a six-month sentence with three years probation.
Crown prosecutor Carole Godfrey had asked for five years in prison.
The judge said he found the woman guilty of breaking both of the girl’s ankles, manipulating her ankles and failing to seek medical attention.
“In my opinion, (she) has a high degree of culpability,” Renke said, noting that the broken ankles came within months of a broken left arm.
Renke said the woman knew her daughter couldn’t walk, knew she couldn’t stand and knew she was in pain but didn’t take her to a doctor.
He added that he didn’t hear any regret during the trial.
“I don’t find any evidence here of remorse,” said Renke.
Although he recognized her tough childhood, the judge said she still had a choice.
Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press