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Mother Charged, Keeps Baby

August 20, 2009 permalink

An unnamed Ottawa mother who left her baby in her car while she ran into a store has been charged with a crime, but children's aid will not be taking her baby girl. This time children's aid applied some common sense. The criminal charges may keep mom in jail for some time, or take money from her finances. That is supposed to help her take better care of her child. In a similar case in Halifax, police took no action against a mother.



Child welfare officials won't seize Rockland baby left in car

By David Gonczol, The Ottawa Citizen, August 20, 2009

OTTAWA — The mother of a four month old girl left unattended in a sweltering car in Rockland on Monday will not have her daughter taken away from her by child welfare officials.

Prescott Russell Services To Children and Adults has completed its investigation and has concluded the child is not in danger if she remains with the mother.

Isabelle Marcil, communications co-ordinator for the child welfare agency, said a case worker assigned to investigate the incident has concluded that leaving the infant in a sweltering car was a "very isolated" incident for this mother.

The agency had never had any contact with the mother before this incident.

"While the investigation shows that it was a very bad judgment call from the mother, we just realized there is no fear at all for the baby's safety, so we are going to close the investigation," said Marcil.

The case worker visited the home of the mother and met with her and her family and concluded the child was in a safe environment.

"The case worker is still going to get involved with the mother and meet with her for a few weeks just to go over safety measures concerning children, but otherwise we feel very safe as to the child's safety," said Marcil.

"It was a very bad judgment call and she strongly realizes that now," said Marcil.

She said that in the course of the investigation the case worker wanted to know how the mother would react to other hypothetical situations involving her daughter and wanted to be reassured the mother has taken safety measures inside her own home for the safety of her infant daughter.

Marcil said the incident has served as a reminder for all parents to never leave children unattended under any circumstances.

"No matter how short the trip is or how quickly you are going to do an in and out or how safe you believe your child is in the car if you are just stepping a few feet away, you just absolutely never leave a child in a vehicle no matter what the temperature is. Its not only a question of weather, in this case it was, but in case of kidnapping its a really big no no that we try to advocate no matter what - even if the child is sleeping. Even if you think you can see them from the store always take them with you," said Marcil.

She said the investigation by Prescott Russell Services To Children and Adults is separate from the criminal investigation being conducted by Ontario Provincial Police. She said her organization was only concerned with the on-going safety of the child in the care of the mother.

Police on Wednesday had still not announced whether they would lay charges in the matter and were expected to discuss the investigation with a Crown attorney in L'Orignal.

At noon on Monday an employee left her work at the Jean Coutu, on Laurier Street, in Rockland, and discovered a crying infant in the back seat of a car that had all the windows rolled up. The temperature at the time with the humidex was over 40 degrees Celsius and the distressed child was red faced and drenched in sweat.

The woman removed the child through an unlocked door and was proceeding to take it into the air conditioned Jean Coutu store to provide the child with some relief from the heat. The woman was then confronted by the returning mother, a woman in her early twenties, who demanded that the employee, Annie Landreville, hand over the child.

Landreville gave the child to the mother and called police while the mother left the scene. The mother was tracked down by OPP on Monday night who have indicated that criminal charges might be laid in the matter.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Nova Scotia mom cleared in similar case

The Ottawa Citizen, August 20, 2009 11:01 AM

OTTAWA — A Nova Scotia mother was cleared of criminal wrongdoing Thursday in a case of baby abandonment striking similar to the one which resulted in charges against a Rockland area mother.

In the Nova Scotia case, the woman was accused of leaving a seven-week-old infant in the backseat of a pickup truck outside a shopping mall near Halifax, on Tuesday afternoon. A passerby called 911 after finding the baby alone and crying in the truck, according to CBC News.

Police estimate the child was left unattended for about 15 minutes. The baby was checked at a Halifax hospital and sent home.

The RCMP discussed the case with the provincial Child Provincial Services, but decided not to press charges.

The mother told police she had taken her older son for an emergency dental appointment and thought the baby was at home with her husband.

"The investigators deemed there was no criminal intent," RCMP Cpl. Joe Taplin told the CBC.

The decision came the same day that the Ontario Provincial Police charged a Rockland-area mother with charges of abandoning a child and failure to provide necessaries of life to a child after she left her three-month-old daughter in a car parked outside a Rockland Jean Coutu pharmacy. The temperature at the time was 32 C.

Source: Ottawa Citizen