CALGARY — A Calgary judge has ruled that the father of a baby girl who died of a methadone overdose should get a psychiatric review before he is sentenced.
Jonathon Hope and his former wife were convicted earlier this month of failing to provide the necessities of life to the 16-month-old.
Summer Hope died in April 2006 after she took a sip from a coffee cup that held a small amount of methadone her father was taking under a doctor’s supervision.
Court heard Hope tried for hours to revive his daughter — including attaching two electrical wires from a lamp to her chest — instead of calling 911.
Justice Earl Wilson said the man’s actions warrant an assessment of his mental state.
Hope is to appear again in court April 28, while Summer’s mother, Lisa Guerin, is to be sentenced April 8.
“In this country we do not sentence in a criminal fashion those truly suffering from a mental illness,” Wilson said in his ruling Monday. He added that many of the unanswered questions from the case should be satisfied following the review.
Following Wilson’s decision, Hope’s lawyer, Joan Blumer, called for the criminal conviction against her client to be overturned. She argued he was insane at the time he found his dead child.
Crown prosecutor Ken McCaffrey admitted Hope’s actions were “peculiar,” but added they didn’t meet the standards needed to prompt a mental health review.
But Blumer said Hope’s desperate attempts to revive his daughter showed that he wasn’t functioning properly and the Crown should have ordered a psychiatric assessment before the trial.