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Former B.C. foster parents sentenced for horrific child abuse


Caution: This story contains graphic details.

“This was a house of horrors.” That’s how a provincial court judge in Chilliwack described the home where two children were tortured by their foster parents.

On Friday, the man and woman, who can’t be named, were given a global sentence of ten years in prison for manslaughter and aggravated assault in connection with the death of an 11-year-old boy. His younger sister was also abused.

During the two-day sentencing hearing, the court heard the children, who are Indigenous and in the care of Indigenous foster parents, were abused over an extended period of time.

They were placed in the home in October 2019.

The court heard that video recordings from surveillance cameras inside the home show the foster parents slapping, kicking, throwing and confining the children repeatedly and for prolonged periods of time.

Among other abuses, the children were forced to wear diapers, locked in a closet, routinely assaulted, including being struck with weapons such as a 2x4 inch piece of wood and a broom handle.

They were forced to eat feces and vomit.

Food was restricted as a form of punishment.

The judge noted that it was clear in the videos that the boy had become disturbingly thin. He weighed just 28.8 kilograms or around 63.5 pounds, at the time of his death.

“He is so emaciated, he looks like a skeleton. He has the appearance of a child from the Holocaust,” said provincial court judge Peter La Prairie during sentencing.

“Their actions against these children were evil and inhumane,” he said.

The judge also said that while people would have seen their condition, no one did anything.

No one determined why the boy had stopped going to school or to medical appointments, even though he had significant medical issues.

The court heard that the Ministry of Family and Child Development did not have any virtual or in person appointments or home visits with the boy after July 27, 2020.

“These are issues that need to be addressed,” the judge said.

On Feb. 25, 2021, the boy suffered a traumatic brain injury after being repeatedly attacked by his foster mother. He would be taken off life support March 1.

“I really hate you for what you did and I hope you get what you deserve...I will never forget what you did to my brother,” said a sibling of the boy during victim impact statements, speaking to the woman involved in the abuse.

Another relative said, “It enrages me my cousin had to die before anyone would check what was going on.”

Outside court, the defence lawyer for the former foster dad, said it’s difficult to put into words the remorse his client has for what happened.

“He is deeply remorseful for his part in it, for not stopping what he saw going on and not stopping his own conduct,” said defence lawyer Darrel Shultz.

When asked about the judge’s comments regarding the failure of anyone to notice the abuse against the children or take action, Shultz said, “The judge highlighted the concern and almost called for some kind of inquiry into that concern, but also I think we’re all aware of the difficulty social workers have trying to keep on top of that kind of situation.”

The female accused addressed the court before sentencing, apologizing for her actions.

“I blame no one other than myself for what I did,” she said.

“I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve caused,” she added. Top Stories

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