Quebec woman sentenced to eight years in prison for horrendous case of child abuse
MONTREAL -- Warning: This story includes details that some readers may find disturbing.
A woman in Granby, Que. has been sentenced to eight years in prison in an extremely disturbing case of child abuse that Premier Francois Legault called an embarrassment to Quebec.
According to a doctor's report, the woman's 17-year-old son was found with broken bones, unable to walk, and caring for his two infant brothers.
Without the intervention of a bailiff who happened to be delivering an eviction notice to the home on Valentine's Day in 2019, the boy may have died, according to the report.
When the bailiff arrived at the house, he noticed a three-year-old child with bruises, another baby in a soiled diaper, and a 17-year-old on the couch who he described as being in extremely bad shape.
Stunned by what he saw, the bailiff called the police.
After being taken to hospital for X-rays, the boy was found to have fractures on his shoulders, ribs, feet, arms and hands -- and the court case revealed that his mother had been beating him with a metal rod.
He was in so much pain he often couldn't walk. Instead, he crawled around to care for his two half-brothers. He had been pulled out of school at the age of 15.
The case also heard that youth protection had been called to the home no fewer than 10 times since 2008 but had never revoked custody from the mother.
Calling it one of the worst cases of child abuse he’s ever heard, the judge criticized youth protection, saying it failed in its responsibility to protect these children.
When CTV News reached out to the local health-care board that covers youth protection in the Granby area, it said it made changes following the event in order to make things safer for the children, and that all children have the fundamental right to a safe environment.
This case comes after a Youth Rights Commission investigation found that the 2019 death of a seven-year-old girl, also from Granby, happened because the systems that should have protected her failed.
At a news conference for COVID-19 on Thursday, Legault responded to the case by saying his government will do everything it can to ensure situations such as these don't continue to happen.
“There was a young person who was tortured by his mother -- it’s unbelievable, it’s shocking," he said. “It is embarrassing for Quebec to hear horror stories of this sort.”
He added that Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant is working on reforming youth protection and that staff has been added to the network already.
"We should have, in the next few days, a preliminary report,” Legault said. “I just want to tell Quebecers we will do all we can."