Napanee woman who pleaded guilty to infanticide receives 1-year conditional sentence, no jail time
A woman who pleaded guilty to causing her own child’s death was handed a one-year conditional sentence for the charge of infanticide and six months for concealing the body of a child.
Several years after her child’s death, Kirsten Pemberton appeared at a Napanee court on Wednesday for her sentencing.
Her sentences are to be served concurrently in the community with no jail time, followed by two years of probation.
Pemberton, 27, pleaded guilty to infanticide in mid-June, but her defence lawyer claimed she was suffering from severe mental health issues at the time of the incident.
In his judgment, Justice Graeme Mew showed compassion for Pemberton.
“I see you as a decent young woman who has lost her way… a young woman who has made some really bad decisions,” Mew said.
The judge added that he believed a lengthy term of imprisonment would be “redundant.”
“I hope you will be a contributing member of your community…most importantly, I hope you ask for help when or if you need it.”
According to the Crown, Pemberton hid her pregnancy back in late 2014 and, after giving birth, wrapped the baby in a sweatshirt and put the infant inside a garbage bag in the closet of her bedroom.
The bag wasn’t found for two and a half months, according to the Crown.
When the baby was discovered, Pemberton, who was 23 at the time, had already moved to Alberta for work, where she was arrested.
During the previous sentencing hearing in June, Pemberton’s defence lawyer, Paul Blais, asked for a suspended sentence or probation, citing his client’s mental health issues.
Blais pointed to testimony from three expert witnesses, who were Pemberton’s psychiatric doctors. They said she was in a psychotic state at the time of the birth.
On Wednesday, the judge instead gave Pemberton a conditional sentence and two years probation. The conditional sentence includes one year for infanticide and six months for the concealment of the child, but both those sentences will be served consecutively. None of her sentence will be served in jail.
During the 12 months when Pemberton is serving her sentence, she will have to abide by the following conditions:
- Stay at a residence approved by a supervisor
- Complete 120 hours of community service
- Continue treatment for her mental health issues
- Continue to take her medication
- Maintain her counselling services
- Remain within her approved residence between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., although certain exceptions can be approved by her supervisor
—With files from Jonna Semple and Neil McArtney
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.