February 27, 2004

Frost Hits the Rhubarb

High School Graduate Shakes Baby to Death and Evades Real Punishment

Mother walks free after shaking her baby to death Christie Blatchford, Feb. 25, 04

TORONTO -- [. . . . Elizabeth Cao ] was given a conditional sentence of two years less a day, plus three years of probation, meaning no jail time.

Judge David Fairgrieve waved off the "usual house arrest and community service provisions," deciding Ms. Cao had been punished enough by the 22 days she cruelly had been forced to serve between her arrest and release on bail.

[. . . .] The nature of Ms. Cao's loss is that in the fall of 2001, fed up with her five-week-old daughter Sara's crying, Ms. Cao shook her to death.

[. . . .] Noting that "a segment of the community would no doubt take the view that any offence involving the death of a helpless infant at the hands of her inadequate and violent mother should result in substantial imprisonment," Judge Fairgrieve praised the prosecutors "for having made a more reasonable and enlightened assessment of the public interest."

[. . . . The] lawyers would place the blame for Sara's death upon the [Children's Aid Society].

[. . . .] At autopsy, the little girl was discovered to have at least 10 rib fractures, some of them in the early stages of healing, suggesting that she had not been hurt only on the night in question, but also at some prior time.
[. . . . The] psychologist reported that [the mother] "had managed to scrape through Grade 12."

In court yesterday were Toronto Police Detective-Constables Andy Gibson and Shawna Coxon, the investigating officers.

[. . . .] Det.-Constable Gibson was both near-apoplectic and near tears when he said, "I feel like there's no justice for this five-week-old baby. This is the last day of 21/2 years. No one will remember her now."

The officers are clearly part of the . . . what did the judge call it? . . . less-enlightened segment of the population who believe that the death of a helpless infant should call for some significant jail time. [. . . .]

Blatch tells it as it is. This is ridiculous! NJC


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