CALGARY — The Crown says a woman who admitted in journal entries she wrote to her dead husband that she smothered her infant son and severely injured her other boy should serve 18 years in prison.
Stacey Joy Bourdeaux, 35, pleaded guilty last summer to manslaughter in the death of her 10-month-old son and to the attempted murder of her five-year-old. She also admitted to failing to provide the necessities of life.
Crown prosecutor Janice Rea told court Tuesday that the sentence should include six years for manslaughter, 11 years for attempted murder and one year for the other charge.
She said there are numerous aggravating factors in the case, but the most serious is that Bourdeaux abused her position of trust and authority.
“Both (victims) were among the most vulnerable of all cases,” said Rea.
“They were both under the age of six and were attacked by their mother — a person they should be able to rely on to protect them.”
The defence suggested Bourdeaux should serve a sentence in the eight-to-10 year range. She will receive credit for time served of three years and three months.
The 10-month-old, Sean Ronald Fewer, was found not breathing in his crib in December 2004. At the time, his death did not raise any suspicion with the medical examiner, who ruled it was a case of sudden infant death syndrome.
In May 2010, police were called to Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary where a five-year-old boy was brought in with breathing trouble.
A few months later, police charged Bourdeaux with attempted murder and choking with intent. They looked into her background and that’s when they discovered Sean’s death.
Rea pointed out that Bourdeaux was not forthcoming about how the baby died.
“The offender kept that offence a secret for six years and the only admission of it was when she confessed in her own journals.”
Bourdeaux admitted in her diary to both attacks. She was writing to her husband, Ted Fewer, who died a few years ago in an electrical accident.
“Dear Ted. Now that you are gone I can confess about Sean,” Bourdeaux wrote. “The night that he left us, it wasn’t actually while he was sleeping.
“I did what I didn’t want to do. The crying wouldn’t stop, so I ended up putting a pillow over his face and made sure that it was stopping his breathing. I know it’s something that I shouldn’t have done, but I did.”
The attack on her five-year-old came after her husband was already gone. The Crown concedes that Bourdeaux was going through a serious depression.
“I was trying to send him to you,” she wrote. “And if I lose him now I am going to feel really bad, cause it would be my fault. I can say he’s very tough and a fighter.”