A Blood Tribe Reserve couple has been given one year of jail time for not providing the necessaries of life to their nine-year-old daughter.
The couple, who can not be named to protect the identity of the child, was charged in 2013 after the couple brought their daughter to a Cardston hospital, where they discovered facial abscesses that revealed part of her jaw bone. The court heard that medical staff believe it most likely started as a dental infection.
She was also severely dehydrated, her hair matted, infested with lice, and she couldn’t communicate.
The girl is now reported to be in good health and in kinship care. Although she will likely need further surgeries and is receiving psychological therapy.
The couple pleaded guilty in May 2016. The judge said their cooperation in the investigation helped their cause. Before sentencing, he required both parents to undergo treatment and counselling.
The Crown was seeking 12 to 18 months in jail with at least one year of probation.
The couple was given credit for pretrial custody and has 310 days left to serve. They will be on two years of probation after that and are recommended to participate in the Kainai Peacemaking Program.
“It wasn’t what I was looking for, it wasn’t what we asked for,” said defence lawyer, Scott Hadford. “I’m happy that it’s at the lower end of the range.”