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Shaky Accusation

August 14, 2009 permalink

Peterborough Ontario home day-care provider Erin Everett cared for a baby whose parents both worked for children's aid. When the baby developed a brain hemorrhage they blamed Mrs Everett. The get 'em mentality among CAS workers is strong enough to override the findings of the Goudge Inquiry and American law and worldwide science repudiating shaken baby syndrome. The prosecutor is pursuing a case that in the end may just be another claim on Ontario taxpayers to compensate Everett for a frivolous prosecution.



Home day-care provider shook baby

JUSTICE: Woman pleads guilty to aggravated assault after one-year-old shaken with enough force to cause brain hemorrhaging

Posted By GALEN EAGLE , EXAMINER COURT WRITER, Posted August 13, 2009

A local couple's nightmare played out in court yesterday as a day-care provider admitted to shaking and seriously injuring their one-year-old daughter.

Erin Everett, 30, pleaded guilty in Ontario Court of Justice to aggravated assault.

The busy courtroom became silent as Crown attorney Kelly Eberhard began her narrative.

She introduced the victim's parents as a couple who married in 2004 but struggled for years to have children. Against the odds, the couple conceived and gave birth to a healthy baby girl in April 2007, court heard.

In February 2008 the working couple began searching for a day-care service, settling on the private operation Everett ran from her home.

Everett, who was pregnant at the time, had operated the daycare for about one year, court heard.

In addition to her two children -- ages two and four -- Everett looked after three other toddlers including the victim.

"She generally had care of children while watching her own," Eberhard said.

On March 28, 2008 Everett learned her husband was poised to go on strike, which would strain the family's finances, Eberhard said.

"Ms. Everett was having a very stressful morning," Eberhard said.

Her stress was compounded when her own children began acting up and the one-year-old victim began to cry, court heard.

"The accused snapped," Eberhard said. "She put (the baby) in the air and began to shake her with force."

After shaking the baby, Everett walked upstairs, placed her in a playpen and left her alone.

"She couldn't bring herself to check the victim," Eberhard said.

Hours past before Everett checked the baby, at which time she appeared fine, Eberhard said.

The next day, the victim's mother noticed a change in her daughter's behaviour.

"Her daughter seemed a little bit off," Eberhard said. "The child seemed lethargic and lazy."

The victim was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a cold, but her symptoms worsened the following day.

She was rushed to Peterborough Regional Health Centre where a CT scan showed brain hemorrhaging.

"It showed she had been bleeding from the back right side of the brain," Eberhard said.

The baby was flown to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, where further testing revealed severe retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes, and neck fractures.

The injuries were characteristic of baby-shaking syndrome, Eberhard said.

Police began investigating and questioned both parents, who both work for the Children's Aid Society, court heard.

Everett denied shaking the baby when officers questioned her April 6, 2008 and offered to take a polygraph test.

"Ms. Everett specifically stated that she did not think she could have injured the child," Eberhard said.

Three days later Everett's husband informed police his wife had confessed.

Late that evening she waived her right to be silent and told police she shook the child.

"She told police she had snapped," Eberhard said. "She admitted to putting her in the play room and not checking on her."

Everett cried while Eberhard read the statement of facts yesterday.

Mr. Justice Rhys Morgan asked her if she agreed with the allegations.

"You agree that you did shake (the baby)?" Morgan asked.

"Yes," she replied.

Her lawyer, James Hauraney, asked for a pre-sentence report and Morgan adjourned sentencing to Oct. 1.

Outside the courtroom, the victim's parents hugged each other.

The couple said their child has recovered from her injuries, but doctors do not know if there will be any long-term effects.

"She's doing really well," the girl's mother said. "She's our little miracle."

Source: Peterborough Examiner