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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Trial Continues...

The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, January 17, 2006 Page A15

Five-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin was killed by his grandparents because they hated him, the accused couple's first-degree murder trial was told yesterday as the prosecution and defence launched their final arguments in Superior Court.
"Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman disliked Jeffrey and [his older sister] to the extreme," Crown attorney Bev Richards told Mr. Justice David Watt, who is hearing the case without a jury. That "animus," she said, resulted in "severe child abuse over an extended period of time."
Jeffrey perished of septic shock in November of 2002, after spending most of his final months locked with that sister in a bedroom at the east-end Toronto Bottineau-Kidman home.
"Ms. Bottineau and Mr. Kidman knew that was going to happen," said Ms. Richards."This was a continuous downward spiral."
Lawyers for the accused presented an altogether different picture, with both defence camps contending that Jeffrey fell victim to extreme neglect rather than murder, which implies intent to kill.
But in one key regard, lawyers for the two accused diverged.

Anil Kapoor and Nick Xynnis, who jointly represent Ms. Bottineau, want their client acquitted not only of first- and second-degree murder but also of manslaughter, which generally means killing somebody by accident.

That's because her "mental impoverishment" is so extreme -- placing her within just 2 per cent of the population -- that she is incapable of realizing the consequences of her actions, Mr. Kapoor said.

That borderline mental retardation was documented as far back as 1970, when she faced criminal charges in connection with the death of one of her children, he said.
Then, as now, "she did not seem to have any real appreciation of the risks she took for others," Mr. Kapoor said, urging she be acquitted.
But Bob Richardson, Mr. Kidman's lead counsel, said his client bears some responsibility for Jeffrey's death and that the proper verdict should be manslaughter.
Taking a swipe at the Catholic Children's Aid Society, which approved the placement of Jeffrey and his three siblings in the couple's home after complaints of abuse, Mr. Richardson conceded that "out of a general state of indifference" Mr. Kidman had failed in his duty to protect Jeffrey.
But within the dysfunctional household, "it was Elva Bottineau's rules" that applied, Mr. Richardson said.
Mr. Kapoor argued that in examining "the appalling facts" of the tragedy, glaringly absent from the Crown's case against Ms. Bottineau is any proof of her intent to kill.
Not only did she call 911 on the day Jeffrey died, he said, but she wanted the boy alive rather than dead because of the welfare money he and his three siblings generated.
"She was abusive, and she wanted to abuse him, but she didn't want to kill him." Jeffrey died because Ms. Bottineau "doesn't see what we see," Mr. Kapoor contended.
The prosecutor rejected that thesis. When paramedics arrived at the house on Nov. 30, 2002, they found a near-skeletal five-year-old who was bruised, dehydrated and covered with sores and bacteria, she said, describing "a child who . . . was probably on the cusp of death."
As for intent, the fact Jeffrey and his sister spent long months locked up in their unheated bedroom offers proof that Jeffrey's death was not only intended, but also planned, Ms. Richards said.
Ms. Bottineau, 54, showed no emotion as defence and prosecution tussled. Mr. Kidman, 53, spent most of the day staring at the floor of the prisoner's box.


Anonymous said...

Stupidity is no excuse for cruelty.

ph said...

Bottineau and Kidman murdered Jeffrey - beyond a reasonable doubt. Justice must be served in this case.

However, regardless of the verdict, CCAS must be held to account during the next stage.

CCAS were as responsible as the accused in the eventual outcome.

Jeffrey's Law said...

Summed up perfectly in one sentence! Hope the judge agree's!

Either way, I firmly believe that what goes around, comes around. Elva seems to have already had a small taste of how even fellow criminals react to kid killers! I hope they keep it up, there IS no excuse for cruelty!

Great comment anon!

Jeffrey's Law said...

Yes ph, we can not let the CCAS or any CAS fall through cracks, we can NOT let this just go away! Will you be at the sentencing? I will be, hope to see a lot of people out that day!

Anonymous said...

Michele wrote
She knew how to get the welfare cheque, and how to find the bank to cash it, she knew to feed herself, this abuse excuse does not wash. get real, the women is a murdered, and worse she killed every once of humanity that child should have felt before his death. dont be fooled.
She will be treated far better then she treated any child in her care, once she is in jail, and that is the sad.

Lisa Burns said...

I will be at the sentencing. I am seriously hoping that this case doesn't end there. I am hoping that with all the hard work that Amanda is doing that she will be heard loud and clear by the law makers and social service workers, Jeffrey didn't die in vain. I expect to see the people that want this to be there and to be loud and clear what we as tax payers and parents expect of this system for all children. Thank you again Amanda for all you are doing.

Anonymous said...

When is sentencing so we can rally for as many people as possible to be there and SHOW our support in numbers?

Anonymous said...

I was there yesterday and it is not reported correctly in the Globe. I understood grandpa's lawyer did not have a problem with manslaughter conviction for his client.

However what does it matter? Both should be found guilty of 1st degree murder. ANYTHING LESS AND THE JAIL DOOR WILL SWING OPEN--granpa's lawyer knows his client cannot plead mentally incompetent as nothing is documented therefore manslaughter it is! Grandma has documented (but phoney!!) paperwork from mental health professionals. Sure grandma is not the sharpest tool in the shed BUT she knew fully well what she was doing.....if she didnt M would have died years earlier.

The fact that grandpa also beat Jeffrey on many occassions is enough for me. The abuse and confinement of J has hardly been mentioned.

This case makes me sick. I can only pray Judge Watt does not treat them with compassion like he did the salsa dancer.

May they both rot in hell.

Anonymous said...

The Verdict is February 16th @ 9:30am.Elayne.

Anonymous said...

Marcia Dooley got 18 years when she killed her step-son Randal. This case is just as bad. Even in the Dooley case it was not long enough of a sentence. These people should get LIFE PERIOD!

Anne Patterson

Anonymous said...

any chance when this is done someone will go back and charge those who stood by and watched - after all, not reporting child abuse is also supposed to be our "legal duty"