Wednesday, September 25, 2013

No justice for Jeffrey

A family photo of three-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin, at his grandparents' home in
east end Toronto. He died Nov. 30, 2002, when he was five years old, of a lethal
combination of pneumonia and septic shock, the underlying cause profound
and protracted starvation.
When he was alive, little Jeffrey Baldwin was surrounded by adults. If a single one of them had demonstrated that they cared even a little bit about him, his life could have been saved.

But nobody in his kinship or professional child-service circle appeared to show any sign that they did. So, neglected, abused and starved for four years by his family-court and Catholic Children’s Aid Society (CCAS)-approved caretakers — his maternal grandparents, Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman — Jeffrey died, just shy of his 6th birthday, from malnutrition, septic shock and pneumonia. Forensic photographs of Jeffrey’s 21 lbs. corpse, exactly what he weighed at 12 months, invoke images of Auschwitz prisoners.

The 2005 trial uncovered many gruesome details of Jeffrey’s tormentors’ history. Astonishingly, both Bottineau and Kidman had criminal records. Elva Bottineau had been convicted for the death of one baby, then had two other children, now adults, that she had abused in equally extreme ways: stuffed into dogs’ cages, chained to beds, starved and beaten. Kidman had been convicted of assaults on two of Bottineau’s children from another father. On five separate relevant occasions, a cursory review of CCAS’s own files would have turned up these convictions, not to mention a psychological assessment of Bottineau saying she’s sometimes “a danger to herself and others,” and prevented them getting guardianship, but no background check occurred.  (more...)

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