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Boy Crippled by CCAS Ward
July 15, 2009 permalink
Drew Lee is permanently crippled with a brain injury inflicted by Alexander Carloni, a former ward of CCAS. Here is another case showing that incompetent child protection injures more that just the child and his own family.
Three years for brutal beating
Drew Lee left brain-injured by Carloni's attack
Carmela Fragomeni, The Hamilton Spectator
The family of Drew Lee, a boy brutally stomped on in an unprovoked attack while walking home, is outraged his attacker was given three years in prison for causing Drew permanent brain damage.
Alexander Carloni, 21, was sentenced this morning in a Hamilton courtroom filled with tears from both Lee and Carloni’s families.
Carloni was given two-for-one credit for the two and a half years he spent in custody awaiting trial, so that his sentence is equivalent to about eight years.
Drew was attacked three years ago at about 9.50 p.m. Aug. 5, 2006 on his way home from having attended an outdoor concert with a friend at Gage Park, just blocks from his home.
“We as a family are not satisfied with the sentence Carloni received,” Drew’s mother Amber told reporters outside the courthouse. “My son Drew Lee was handed a life sentence with no chance for parole.”
Justice Jane Milanetti said earlier in court there is no sentence she could give Carloni that would be adequate for Drew and his family. Drew has been left significantly compromised, physically, emotionally and intellectually and he will never be the same, she said.
To Carloni, Milanetti said it was up to him to “walk the talk” of the remorse he expressed yesterday and to follow through on turning his life around.
Carloni’s sentence includes a prohibition for life of possessing firearms and a requirement he provide DNA to include in the country’s national DNA data bank on criminals.
Carloni pleaded guilty in May to aggravated assault and assault with intent to commit robbery.
Amber Lee delivered a heart-wrenching victim impact statement yesterday during the sentencing hearing of Alexander Carloni, 21, the man who destroyed the life of her once outgoing and gregarious son.
With Drew, now 16, silent beside her, Lee listed the typical teenage activities her son will never experience. Parties, part-time jobs, playing videos and going to the mall with friends among them.
"Getting your beginner's licence, taking a date to the prom, sneaking a drink, sharing your first kiss ... sounds pretty normal, a rite of passage and innocence for an average teenager," she continued.
"My son, Drew, was viciously robbed of all those opportunities and more that we and millions of other teenagers and their families take for granted."
Drew, then a Grade 8 student at Adelaide Hoodless Public School, was walking home alone along Main Street East at about 9:50 p.m. after attending an outdoor concert with a friend. He was less than two blocks from home when Carloni, then 18, grabbed him by the shirt and demanded money.
When Drew didn't have any, Carloni dragged him into a parking lot, punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground and repeatedly stomped on Drew's head.
Lee said at 9:45 that night, she and her eldest son went out looking for Drew and passed a scene of police cruisers and flashing lights 12 times before finally stopping to inquire.
Lee received a police escort to the hospital where Drew lay with severe head injuries in a coma.
"No parent should ever have to see their child as we saw Drew. There are no words to convey the feeling of helplessness, confusion, fear, praying desperately and bargaining desperately with a higher being to please, please let my son live."
She spoke of the agonizingly slow and painful recovery to where Drew is now, "displaying stroke-like symptoms."
He has permanent brain damage and continues to struggle with his speech and his ability to walk. His mother says he still faces a number of surgeries and treatments.
Carloni, his head down for most of Lee's statement, then addressed the court. He called his past decisions poor. He spoke of his drugs and alcohol abuse and expressed remorse.
"I haven't been able to get Mrs. Lee's pain out of my mind," he said. "I am disgusted in my actions and how I hurt Drew ... I do not deserve pity and wouldn't blame the Lee family for hating me."
Carloni pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and assault with intent to commit robbery in May after Milanetti declared a mistrial of his case before judge and jury in which he initially pleaded not guilty.
His lawyer, Joseph Fiorucci, said that Carloni was put into the care of the Catholic Children's Aid by his mother from ages 14 to 17 because of his violent behaviour and outbursts at home.
Carloni has taken drugs, including ecstasy and crack, and has been in and out of custody, which accounts for why he has never had a psychiatric assessment, Fiorucci said.
Assistant Crown attorney Brent Bentham said Carloni has an extensive criminal record of assault, threats and violating probation, as well as a severe and unaddressed substance abuse problem.
The Crown and defence have jointly asked for a three year penitentiary sentence. Giving Carloni two for one credit for the two-and-a half years in pretrial custody, the total sentence would be equivalent to eight years.
Milanetti will rule on the sentence today.
-- with files from Barb Brown, The Hamilton Spectator
Source: Hamilton Spectator