Sentencing adjourned for parents convicted of neglecting daughter

Husband, wife pleaded guilty last May

LETHBRIDGE — A judge in southern Alberta has adjourned sentencing for parents whose young daughter nearly died after they failed to provide her with adequate care.

The couple, who can’t be identified under a court-ordered publication ban, were to be sentenced on Tuesday in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench.

But that was adjourned for several months to allow them more time to participate in various life-skills programs.

The husband and wife pleaded guilty last May to failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Court heard the couple’s daughter was barely alive when she was taken to hospital in the summer of 2013.

Her face was swollen, parts of her jawbone were exposed and she was pale, dehydrated and suffering from overwhelming infection.

She was unable to talk and could only make incomprehensible sounds.

The girl was resuscitated in the emergency room at the hospital in Cardston, Alta., before being flown to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. Court was told that the severely malnourished child was placed on triple antibiotic therapy and given blood transfusions.

Sentencing has been adjourned several times to complete various assessments and reports, including what is called a Gladue report, which takes into account circumstances facing indigenous people.

Court was told Tuesday that one course in particular, the Kainai Peacemaking Program, has helped the parents and they are likely to continue to benefit if they participate for several more months.

The program helps clients get access to mental-health services, individual and family counselling, stress and anger management techniques, parenting skills courses and traditional elder mentoring.

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