Trial ends for CBN woman accused of child abuse

Nicholas Mercer
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Editor's note: this story contains graphic content.
The high profile trial of a Conception Bay North woman accused of abusing her children concluded today at provincial court in Harbour Grace.

A Conception Bay North woman accused of abusing her children is led into provincial court in Harbour Grace in this Compass file photo.

The proceedings included a dramatic turn-of-events as the woman, whose identity is banned from publication by court order, changed her plea to guilty on five charges of forcible confinement.

Crown attorney Lisa Stead and defense lawyer Jeff Slade put forth their final submissions to Judge James Walsh during the two-plus hour long session.

The woman is charged with numerous counts including assault, forcible confinement and criminal negligence causing bodily harm. She had pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Stead provided testimony from numerous children, who expressed empathy for their brothers and sisters.

“They all said, ‘I hate my mother,’” she told the court.

Stead went into great detail of the case, telling the court, amongst other horrific details, that when the children went to bed they were no longer allowed out until the morning.

She would tie rope around the door handles, using the nearby banister as a weight to keep them closed. This meant children were often forced to soil themselves during the night and then change.

“The children are very clear with how they feel about their mother,” said Stead.

One of the more shocking details came out when discussing the charge of corrupting children.

It was said in court the woman and her husband subjected their children to watching them engage in sexual activity.

“The community would find that immoral,” said Stead.

Once Stead had concluded her submission, Walsh removed two of the seven counts of forcible confinement against the woman.

When Slade began his defence, he started by changing the plea on the remaining five forcible confinement charges from not guilty to guilty.

For the rest of his submission, the lawyer discussed the litany of charges.

“Proof beyond a reasonable doubt in court is the highest standard we have,” said Slade.

When submissions were finished, Walsh adjourned court.

The matter will be called once again on May 14 at 2 p.m., at which time the judge will render a decision on sentencing.

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Recent comments

  • Sarah
    May 07, 2014 - 08:26

    Why would they protect the identity of this woman who committed such crimes against her own children? She doesn't deserve to have her identity hidden. Ridiculous.

    • Anna
      May 14, 2014 - 17:56

      It's not for her protection, it's for the children who most likely share her last name and can be identified by her photo and name in the media. She'll get her punishment, but her children do not deserve further humiliation

    • Anna
      May 14, 2014 - 17:57

      It's not for her protection, it's for the children who most likely share her last name and can be identified by her photo and name in the media. She'll get her punishment, but her children do not deserve further humiliation

  • gracy
    May 07, 2014 - 08:21

    put her in jail with the men and let them have there way,for 10 years

  • D
    May 06, 2014 - 14:52

    as many kids as they have what are the chances that neither parent works and just collect welfare checks

  • Winston G Adams
    May 05, 2014 - 13:40

    Shame on the Compass paper for using the word `sexual` in this story. In 1990 I wanted to put a ad in that paper to seek witnesses to an event that affected me, a victim of a pedophile whose trial took place in Hr. Grace before Judge Kean. The paper refused my ad because it contained the word `sexual`. I had referred to that trail using the phrase `sexual assault trial`. In 1990 Homer Simpson could use the word `sexual` but I guess it was to explicit for the readers of the that paper then. I guess the new ownership is more enlightened. And I wonder, in this story, how many knew of some of these events of abuse and kept silent. And will there be Victim Impact Statements on May 14. VISs certainly were not welcome by the judge or crown or police in 1990. Winston G Adams , Logy Bay, formerly from Bishops Cove.

  • vickie hartery
    May 03, 2014 - 22:27

    this mothers face should be plastered all over the news and social media

    • kelly
      May 06, 2014 - 18:36

      I agree, everyone knows who she is anyway. The damage is already done to those poor kids. Media attention can't make it any worse.

    • Anna
      May 14, 2014 - 18:03

      Kelly, You believe that because they were subject to torture, violence, and sexual abuse that they are now immune to humiliation? There is damage done, yes, but I beg to differ that it can't get worse-- media attention could make their lives unbearable. Regardless of whether it does or doesn't, it's now the children's decision whether or not they want to share what happened to them- we, as a society, can't take away what little power they have left over their lives just to satiate our desire to punish this awful woman.

  • Rosemary
    May 03, 2014 - 09:39

    Capital punishment hands down for this! A public hanging after her torcher is in order! This stuff sickens me!!!!

  • Rosemary
    May 03, 2014 - 09:38

    Capital punishment hands down for this! A public hanging after her torcher is in order! This stuff sickens me!!!!

  • kingfisher
    May 02, 2014 - 20:29

    Capital punishment is too good for these animals. Our legal and social services systems are only a joke. They will porobasbly only get a slap on the wrist or time served after costing thousands of dollars and tying up the court system.

    • Bla Bla
      May 04, 2014 - 17:29

      I hope she does not see the light of day! As for the so called sperm donor of these children, he is as evil as she is! These are the devils in sheep clothing! If the justice system does nothing to protect these children and future children (and there will be more); then THE JUSTICE SYSTEMIS RESPONSIBLE!!!!! No more justice for crimnals, let's protect our VICTIMS!!!

  • Duffy
    May 02, 2014 - 17:52

    Her lawyer mouthpiece will come up with some lame excuse and the Judge will buy it and sentence her to a weekend of house arrest. Does anyone out there wonder if this had been reported over the years and that the government social workers just ignored it. I would check the schools over the past several years to see if there were any reports. If there were the Minister will hide it with Bill 29 or a "I am unable to discuss this" BS. The should at least "neuter" the babe and "fix" the male counterpart! God Bless the abused children.

  • Mary
    May 02, 2014 - 17:28

    Not only should the parents get life for each child but I think the actions of child welfare involved in this case should be looked at closely

    • Sally
      May 08, 2014 - 18:06

      CYFS "are bound by their jurisdiction"...I've been told repeatedly (about my own abused children) by CYFS "emotional abuse is difficult to prove" let's wait then until the children's minds are totally warped by their sociopathic father & they, in turn, become physically violent before any action is taken, shall we? Meanwhile, have him sign a single piece of paper promising not to "use physical discipline ANYMORE"... Yeah...that oughta protect them! CYFS have done nothing in the pat 50 years...unless laws change giving them more leeway, many other precious vulnerable little darlings lives will suffer & end in tragedy...

  • sheryl martin
    May 02, 2014 - 17:14

    these must be the most disgusting and insane ppl ever...did these children not have grandparents or other family......these 2 should be made to stand out on the sidewalk and let the general public decide their punishment

    • Alice
      May 07, 2014 - 07:34

      Not show their face...unbelievable, those two scumbags should be put on display chained to the steps of the courthouse day & night and let the people do just what they want to them to make them suffer until they draw their last breath. Those little children are scarred for the rest of their lives by those two psychopaths.

  • Debbie
    May 02, 2014 - 16:25

    There are no words to describe heart goes out to these children. These parents should be put in jail and never get out again. Hopefully time will help heal some of the scars of these children, at the hands of monsters!!

  • ethel
    May 02, 2014 - 11:45

    make sure they are sent to a nice jail where their life expectance is going to be almost nil right from the get go. you got to pray for this.

  • Omg those poor poor children, I hope and pray to God they receive counciling for this terrible ordeal, my thoughts and prayers go out to those children. The parents should rot in hell for what they done. Lock them up and throw away the keys please.
    May 02, 2014 - 09:05

    Those poor poor children, my prayers are with you. The parents should be made to suffer for this.

  • Patsy Hynes
    May 02, 2014 - 08:56

    Parents that treat their children abusively should have the same thing done to them. How sick to impose your children to torture and shame. I would stone them to death. Innocent children abused. What a horrible way to treat a child. I hope and pray that those children will find hope in their lives and be able to have some sort of life and get pass all the demons that the parents of those children has installed in their heads. Makes me sick to my stomach to hear of such abuse.

  • Becky
    May 02, 2014 - 08:20

    "Her identity is banned from publication by court order?" Both her and her husband should have their identities made public. I know the courts are trying to protect children, but these crimnals, these SICK individuals need to feel guilty, embrassed and ashamed. My heart is with the children.

    • Courtney
      May 03, 2014 - 05:21

      Becky I completely agree with you. It is disgusting. Their names should be public, just as a sex offender is to be made aware to the public these people should be too! Society has the right to know what kind of monsters are in their neighborhood. I know who these people are and if I ever see them I will spit in their faces. Other than that I will not stoop their level.

    • Anna
      May 14, 2014 - 18:07

      Court order to protect the children's identities from being made public. Sure, the parents need to feel guilty, embarrassed and ashamed... their children do not.

    • Melissa
      May 20, 2014 - 21:46

      This is sickening, this is wrong, and sentencing should be harsh. I can't think of a punishment harsh ENOUGH for what was done to these children. But, as a survivor of abuse, I understand the publication ban. Can you imagine how it feels not only to have been through that abuse... but to know whenever you walk into a public place that everyone there knows exactly what was done to you, and thinks only of your past? Give the kids some dignity and room to move forward, past the stigma. They're safe now; and you can bet those people won't be parenting again anytime soon.

  • t
    May 02, 2014 - 06:30

    she should get life in jail for what she put them poor little throught

  • John McMurrer
    May 02, 2014 - 06:12

    I believe the punishment should fit the crime, these children's lives have been ruined, this ordeal will remain in there little minds for the rest of their lives, God love them

  • Cashin Delaney
    May 01, 2014 - 22:50

    This is a chain of community sorrow that needs to be healed. The imprinting put on the parents in their childhood...but we can't go back in time. The prime goal is to support these children in their growth and understanding of the facts of their lives, without stigma. How much goes on that never sees the light of day? If one of our leading authors, Michael Crummy, or someone, wrote this story, we still can't judge much of it here. Sexual repression/expression leads to confinement? If Frank Coleman and Danny Williams were Sigmund & Freud Jung, or something, they could speak to it. Barred in da room to shit der selves for witnessing a sex display? Pious over-reactions or systemic beastial depravity? Good outcome for the kids. Parents need to, as paddy Daley says, get on the twitter box or something, the courts have put them at odds with the community. The community deserves to know, WTF were you people thinking. Help some smart alec at MUN figure out how to nip this shit in the bud.

    • g
      May 02, 2014 - 17:18

      WHAT ???

  • Alexander
    May 01, 2014 - 22:14

    Incarceration for life wouldn't be enough!! I hope she goes to jail and they treat her like she treated those poor children! My blood runs cold over the thought that this could happen in our community.

  • aubrey lynch
    May 01, 2014 - 18:35

    they should be tarred and feathered..i hope the judge shows no mercy..hopefully she gets in prison what she did to her children..sick people

  • aubrey lynch
    May 01, 2014 - 18:31

    they should be tarred and feathed..i hope the judge shows NO MERCY..

  • marion squires
    May 01, 2014 - 18:23

    There is no punishment that is harsh enough for this damn animal.I hope she rots in hell I

  • Cynthia DeHann
    May 01, 2014 - 18:18

    I hope the $@*%# SHE gets life as the children are now scared for life... So many people wanting children and can't ........

  • Kelly
    May 01, 2014 - 17:34

    Once again, our government has dropped the ball and children are left to suffer. I know this person and also know that she was removed from the home years ago, before she even had all of the children. The reason? One of her kids went to school with a bruise, supposedly got from an ornament that fell while cleaning and hit the child. I also know that when my child was in the same class as one of hers, that child was permitted to eat in class, never questioned. If the family was on social assistance, she was removed from the home once, why the hell was she permitted to have even more kids? Crazy! Now we have poor kids scarred for life at the hands of their parents.

    • Ann Moores ( Noseworthy )
      May 03, 2014 - 00:17

      So agree with you, Kelly. Hopefully, these children will receive the gift of having someone decent and respectful and loving enough to look after them emotionally, mentally and physically enough to show them that the power of love will outgrow the horrible events that they have experienced thus far in their young years of life and it is not too late to show and tell them that decent love and respect well outweighs what they are after going through. Seems to me the children do have a sense of what is right and wrong and hopefully, they get with someone to tell them that they do know the difference and take it from there. God love these dear little children and never give up on hope!!!

  • Diane Hunt
    May 01, 2014 - 14:50

    The woman should be incarcerated for a long time.

    • Melissa
      May 01, 2014 - 20:31

      Long time is an understatement.

    • MC
      May 08, 2014 - 23:41

      These children will never feel safe or heal while that beast of a so called mother is still alive.....we should make an exception and bring back the death penalty. Sadly, she may get away with this by pleading insanity.