SAINT-HYACINTHE, Que. — The teenage mother of a three-week-old girl mauled to death by a dog was granted bail on Tuesday after being charged with manslaughter.
The 17-year-old returns to court on Aug. 31 after being released following a court appearance.
As part of the conditions of her release, the teenager is not allowed to look after children under the age of 12.
Defence lawyer Andre Williams said the manslaughter charge laid by the Crown came as a surprise, given the short period of time elapsed since the newborn’s death on Monday afternoon.
Williams said he’d expected a charge of criminal negligence at the most.
“It surprises me quite a bit, it shocks me completely,” Williams said.
“What surprises me also is that no charges anywhere are laid this quickly after an event.”
Williams described his young client as distraught and devastated.
“This is a 17-year-old girl who has lost her baby under circumstances that have been spoken about greatly,” he said.
“I’m quite surprised that they’ve already laid charges against a young girl who is in fragile state, on top of which they also detained her (on Monday night).”
The newborn’s father told reporters earlier Tuesday the 17-year-old went outside to have a smoke and that the attack took place within a matter of seconds before the mother heard noise and returned inside.
He said he doesn’t blame the mother.
”The little girl wasn’t in danger” he said.
”She was in a little rocking chair and she was rocking gently. After that, the girl’s mother went outside for a puff on a cigarette. Just a puff. Her mother (the baby’s grandmother) was outside smoking. She hadn’t even closed the door when she heard noise. She went into back the house. And the dog had jumped on the child.
”It was a moment of inattention.
’I don’t blame the mother in any way whatsoever. I hope she’ll be acquitted because she has nothing to do with this. She’s an excellent mother.”
No charges were laid against the newborn’s 37-year-old grandmother, who was released without charge after initially being detained.