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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Abandoned to death

Criminal charges of child abandonment have been laid in the case of a baby boy who was born in a Wal-Mart bathroom in Prince Albert and then left to die, face down in a toilet.

Child abandonment? Child abandonment is when you leave your swaddled baby on the doorstep of someone's house or inside a hospital waiting room. The Wal-Mart incident, on the other hand, seems more like an act of attempted infanticide.

Another sad day for the Canadian justice system.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on August 30, 2007 in Crime | Permalink


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Do you read these stories before you link to them? Child abandonment, under the Criminal Code, requires that the child be put at risk, which is seldom the case when the child is left on a doorstep or in a hospital waiting. Which is why nobody is charged when they do it. In this case, a child abandonment charge is perfectly appropriate. BTW, the maximum penalty for infanticide is 5 years, the maximum penalty for child abandonment is 2 years.

Posted by: truewest | 2007-08-30 8:52:52 AM

truewest - it's the principle of the matter.

This airhead tried to KILL her child, not leave it alone in the washroom where someone else could pick it up and take care of it.

Big difference. She should be tried for infanticide.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-08-30 8:59:39 AM

This is exactly what I meant when I wrote on the 'Some uncomfortable questions about abortion'
"This is why I think more mothers kill the children, at older ages, today."
Posted by: Speller | 27-Aug-07 5:10:51 PM

How is this different from partial birth abortion?
Not much different at all.

In England a mother can kill her child up until 2 years of age.
The mother in this case can simply get a doctor to testify that she had postpartum blues and 'that's all she wrote', it'll charges stayed.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-08-30 9:09:45 AM

To Truewest:
It seems to me that the Criminal Code's 'child abandonment'charge does not adequately cover what this woman is alleged to have done. While it is true that the charge covers those acts that endanger or are likely to endanger the well-being of a child, what this woman seems to have set out to do is to kill her child, not simply abandon it in a dangerous place. It's the difference between leaving the child on the floor of the bathroom and leaving it upside down in a toilet bowl.

Posted by: Terry O'Neill | 2007-08-30 9:14:55 AM

...what worries me more is how could a human being, let alone a mother, do this to another human?

I think we're going to see more of this as it seems the younger generation has been trained to disengaged their thought process from moral ethics.

Sowing and Reaping.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-08-30 9:19:19 AM


I don't think it is a disengagement of thought processes from moral ethics.

I think this mother was given bad ethics, based on societies acceptance of abortion, and then reasoned that if she could go to an abortuary any time during the previous 9 month period and have the child suctioned and discarded with the other medical waste, with society footing the medical bill and telling her it is her right and it's her body, it is OK to flush the baby down a toilet just like the other waste than comes out of her bottom.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-08-30 9:31:23 AM

Firstly, she cannot be charged with infanticide because the child did not die.

Secondly, there should be no such thing as a crime of infanticide. If you kill a person, you kill a person. That's called murder. The criminal code, however, specifies infanticide as:

"A female person commits infanticide when by a wilful act or omission she causes the death of her newly-born child, if at the time of the act or omission she is not fully recovered from the effects of giving birth to the child and by reason thereof or of the effect of lactation consequent on the birth of the child her mind is then disturbed."

Note that this means a man cannot be charged with the crime, only a woman, and only the mother, and only in specific circumstances. But if she really is suffering from a disturbed mind, then it seems strange to call it a crime at all. Either she was sane, thus it is murder or she was not, thus it is not a crime.

I suspect this law is a compromise because of the worry that it is too easy to claim a temporarily disturbed mind when there was none and the problem of jury sympathies with a crying mother on the witness stand who claims she was suffering from a post-birth disorder. If you call it just plain murder, juries won't convict. But if you just excuse it, then murder would be too easy to get away with.

Posted by: CCC | 2007-08-30 10:24:05 AM

It has long been recognized, that certain things occur in the body and mind of a person when they are pregnant, about to give birth, or post-partum.

Common guys, you ever been with a woman, when she is about to deliver, and delivering?

And, if you add into this formula, a person who already lacks a sound mine--well--it ain't pretty.

The charges laid against her seem appropriate, and she will be given a lawyer, as well as some psychiatric evaluation. No doubt, her situation will be analyzed to the maximum, in order to determine what circumstances lead to this terrible thing happenning to this baby.

I bet drugs are involved. Maybe she is a now grown up fetal alcohol syndrome with drug issues. It used to be common practice, that people in circumstances where they are incapable of raising children, were apprehended until they gave birth, and their child would then be taken away, and put up for adoption. Now, as a result of the fear of violating people's human rights, society is less inclined to do the dutiful thing, for the unborn child.

I see this as a failure--not just of the woman--but more--those who new her--were related to her--were in her community--and beyond.

There is no way anyone could convince me, that she was taken care of in the manner to which all Canadians should take care of themselves, and the people they know. I am not saying that she is not at fault at all--I just feel that there is more to the story than we have seen so far.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-08-30 10:40:18 AM

This story is full of such profound hurt and pain.

Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-08-30 10:43:09 AM

Lady you have a point to a certain extent, but I must agree with Speller on this one. We have created a society that is pretty hostile to babies with abortion at any stage being one of the main factors. It is not the only one however, for some time our society has not been welcoming to babies. Most parents have encountered such experiences.

So how do we justify our harsh views of this woman when our society would either applaud her or turn a blind eye if she had opted for an abortion just before the baby had completely emerged?

Posted by: Alain | 2007-08-30 11:42:02 AM

Here is my question and I am waiting to see who this woman actually is ... name not released yet ... she is 21 years old so why not release the name?

Have the proper charges not been laid because of her racial origin?

Just asking.

Any bets?

Posted by: John | 2007-08-30 12:58:22 PM

I can only the assume that the child did not suffer any permanant injury. If it had, she would have more liekly been charged under s.242, "Neglect to obtain assistance in child-birth", which provides for a maximum five-year sentence for a pregnant woman who, with "intent that the child shall not live or to conceal the birth" fails to make reasonable provision for delivery. This section only applies if there is death or permanant injury.
There is, for the record, no charge of attempted infanticide.
as for the attempts to link this to legal abortion, this argument overlooks the long history of infanticide, a practice which predates legalized abortion by centuries.

Posted by: truewest | 2007-08-30 1:02:12 PM

Infanticide existed in pagan societies like the Incas - not among Western civilized nations, although I'm sure truepest could find a few exceptions.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-30 1:05:32 PM

John,read the story. The child is now in the care of Lac La Ronge Indian child and welfare . Why would you possibly think there is a racial element to the story. Because this has happened time and time again. Sorry,question asked,question answered.

Posted by: wallyj | 2007-08-30 5:12:27 PM

Infanticide exists in all societies. Even in those where it is outlawed, it is treated differently than murder.
Interesting that the only people who understand why this is so are the female posters to this thread. Apparently, none of you boys has ever been around a women who has just given birth.

John, the proper charge was laid. If you read the story and understood it -- asking a lot, I know, given that you're a racist piece of shit -- that would be obvious.

Posted by: truewest | 2007-08-30 8:05:02 PM

Right, truepest - and only Albertans who have oil should speak of policies that affect oil.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-30 8:07:54 PM

Not what I said, Oswald, you fuckwit. I didn't say only women CAN understand this, but that none of your brainless simpletons, all of whom appear to be male, were smart or empathic enough to wrap your puny brains around the concept that a woman who has just given birth might not be thinking straight.

Posted by: truewest | 2007-08-30 8:11:29 PM

You can tell a Leftoid by the amount of four-letter words they employ in response to being challenged. Truepest - you have clearly identified yourself as a college educated radical.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-30 8:13:59 PM

You're a grown man whose only rhetorical tool appears to be calling people you disagree with Leftoids. A challenge involves presenting an opposing argument; what you do is the intellectual equivalent of calling someone a poopypants.

Posted by: truewest | 2007-08-30 8:17:25 PM

Congrats, truepest - no foul language this time. There's hope for you yet.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-30 8:19:11 PM

Truewest,you did imply that to understand this crime you must be a woman,as us simpleton males just don't understand.I supose woman who have just given birth are not thinking right and should be excused for leaving thier child in a frigging toilet to die. You understand the concept though,of course,your mom did the same thing with you and for better reasons I'm sure.

Posted by: wallyj | 2007-08-30 8:30:10 PM

wallyj ~

At least his mom took him out of the toilet before he croaked, though some damage was obviously done.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-30 8:40:30 PM

I implied no such thing. But don't worry, given your circumstances, I forgive you your lack of comprehension. FAS is a terrible thing, particularly when complicated by syphillis.

Posted by: truewest | 2007-08-30 8:43:44 PM

Ooooh! What an intelligent comeback, truepest. College done you good!

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-30 8:45:06 PM

True,FAS is a terrible thing and is rampant among native populations.Does that make me a racist like John? Are you saying this woman had FAS and syphillis,so she should be forgiven?Or are you saying that I am inflicted? Thank god,that you can't catch STD's by wacking off or you would be dripping like a crack ho.

Posted by: wallyj | 2007-08-30 8:51:16 PM

...another thing I feel sorry for is the child.

Can you imagine finding out your mother tried killing you at birth, but not just that, but in the most undignified way a human can, in a toilet.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-08-30 8:53:34 PM

It may be, that having given birth in the toilet, she thought she HAD killed her baby, and fled.

Its a pretty sad story.

Posted by: lwestin | 2007-08-30 9:03:24 PM

Yes, lwestin, is it a terribly sad story. Nice of you to see the situation in all its possible complexity.
And yet, for some reason, all these guys a) assume that she intended to kill the child and b) want to thrown the book at her.
Nice bunch you hang out here .

Posted by: truewest | 2007-08-30 9:07:39 PM

As the chief's sign says:

Your life sucks because you suck.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-08-30 9:09:34 PM


I'm not sure when the chief said those words of wisdom which ‘you' is singular and which ‘you' is plural.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-08-30 9:13:39 PM

ah truewest, spoken like a true Liberal...read the story. She's guilty even if she did this in panic, you just don't go around leaving babies in toilets, head down.

It was more than three months ago when staff at the Prince Albert Wal-Mart were alerted to a "mess" in one of the washroom stalls by a customer.

Staff attended to the stall and noticed a tiny foot sticking out of the toilet, which had been covered in paper towels.

- who notified the staff? A customer.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-08-30 11:05:41 PM

She may be guilty, but in this situation, her mental state is going to be very much at issue, especially since the alleged abandonment took place immediately after birth. If she tried to conceal the baby with paper towels (as the stories claims) that may suggest awareness that what she was doing was wrong, but that doesn't decide the issue.
As for speaking like a liberal, well, we liberals are awful fond of this thing called due process. Maybe you've heard of it. Makes us real uncomfortable about declaring people we don't know guilty of serious crimes on the basis of a 400 word newspaper story. We prefer to rely on these things called trials, where the evidence tends to be more substantial and reliable than that collected by someone on deadline. But maybe you know a better way?

Posted by: truewest | 2007-08-31 12:20:02 AM


Being member of persecuted group in today's world 'white male' I am increasing my concern that the priviledeged minorities in Canada ... immigrants, Indians and women are getting off so much lighter than the rest of us when crimes are committed.

One only has to compare charges and sentences to see that this is true.

I am an anti multiculturalist and if that makes me a racist so be it.

My next question ... why is okay to be a feminist or a member of naacp, or have a separate more lenient justices system as Indians do or to be a member of whatever immigrant group (and there are many) specifically working to improve the lot of their own.

I am simply going to stand up for white men from now on and point out the disparities between us and them ... we are the one's who do all the heavy lifting in this society and pay all the taxes.

I am sick of watching the never ending attacks on us. I am sick of seeing men portrayed as idiots on so many television programs.

We need an organization that stands up for white people. Before you point to the KKK or the new Nazis. I am not talking about that sort of think. I mean a real legitimate organization that gets government funding like all the others do, to promote the security, well-being and fairness among the white populations.

Any thoughts on this idea?

Posted by: John | 2007-08-31 10:08:54 AM

On the one hand, hang the girl.

But. What if the child was the product of a violent rape, and the father threatened to kill her mum, dad and younger brother if she didn't dump the baby.

I know; rubbish. But what if?

Posted by: Mike D | 2007-08-31 6:08:49 PM

As a fellow white male, I have some sympathy for your position. I'd say about a thimble-full. (Gotta say I agree with you about the tv shows).
The fact is that we ran things around here almost exclusively for about forever. The fact that women and minorities would like a piece of the action doesn't somehow make us a "persecuted group" all of a sudden. Nor is the answer to identity politics more identity politics. So form a white men's group if you like. I'm not interested in joining anything organized by whiney would-be victim who complains because people want to maintain some of their own traditions instead of adopting all our, who spouts unfounded cliches about how everybody but white guys gets a break from the criminal justice system, and who has a built-in sense of entitlement.
So have fun with your group. Of course, there is another alternative -- you could grow a pair.

Posted by: truewest | 2007-08-31 7:16:16 PM

...there's an old saying "the end justifies the means".

If the baby was a result of violent rape, or incest or anything else, does that still justify murder?

We're not even speaking of abortion, this was a full term human being. So Mike D, if all what you said was true, then what about social services? What about other facilities?

It's like all the beggars on the street downtown Calgary. We've got the most prosperous economy, social service, Mustard Seed and so on.

Yes, yes, rents are high, some are mentally challenged, some are just down and out, but the vast majority need a kick in the arse.

So if this 'mother' was mentally challenged, then that should work into the sentencing, but murder is still murder, whether manslaughter, 2nd degree or whatever, especially to a baby which is 100% dependent on its mother to live.

Truewest, due process is granted, but in the mean time 'due process' has failed us time and time again. History has proven us this will be a non-issue because of the person's heritage.

At the same time, a 400 word essay could be false as you presuppose, but look at the big picture.

1. Baby left in a toilet head down.
2. Walmart alerted by a customer.
3. Mother had 9 months to decide how to handle the child - adoption or abortion.

Whether the baby was left in a sink, or on a church step would direct the feelings a different way, just the statement it was 'a mess' tends to lend it towards the toilet and paper towel.

The dark horse could be the mother freaked out,

1. Retarded blonde syndrome: "is it mine?"
2. Miscarriage and she was emotionally distraught. Not the first to give birth in a washroom.

Ok, if so, she'd still be guilty of leaving the scene. The most vulnerable time of a person's life the mother is gone.

The big picture shows me she is a product of our social amoral thinking of what happened.

"So what?".

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-09-01 11:15:29 AM

This idea that Indians get some sort of grand break from the criminal justice system is ridiculous. The amendments to the sentencing provisions of the Criminal Code -- the so-called Gladue provisions, requiring the sentencing judge to take into account aboriginal background -- were introduced by Indians were vastly over-represented in prisons. And if you look at the case law, you'll find that judges will not give any weight to the Gladue provisions in cases of violent crime. This is no get out of jail free card.
as for this case, I think its very likely that the girl freaked out. If she wanted to kill the child -- and murder is not murder without intent -- surely she could have thought of a better way and place to do it than in a Wal-Mart bathroom. And btw, unless you're talking about a car accident, there is no such crime as "leaving the scene."

Posted by: truewest | 2007-09-01 11:41:37 AM

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