*GRAPHIC WARNING: Some of the details in this article are disturbing.
Two women pleaded guilty Tuesday in a horrific case that saw police seize five children from what they described at the time as a “shocking environment and physical state.”
On Sept. 3, the women pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault and unlawful confinement of two girls aged three and six. All remaining charges were withdrawn.
An agreed statement of facts presented in court notes one woman was the mother of the two abused children and the other was the mother of three other kids in the home. They took turns taking care of each other’s children. The women, who were 23 and 24 when they were charged, cannot be named to protect the children’s identities.
The statement says the women went out partying one night in December 2017 and hired a babysitter. They told her the children were sleeping, but later, the babysitter heard knocking on a basement door that was blocked by a dresser. She was able to shift it aside, and found two bruised and undernourished little girls in dirty diapers, asking for food and water. The basement was undeveloped, with no bathroom and only a urine-soaked mattress, and feces strewn on the floor.
*GRAPHIC WARNING: Some of these photos may be disturbing to some. Discretion advised.
The five children in the home, all under 10, were taken to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. One child struggled to move because of their physical injuries, the court documents said. She needed plastic surgery for tissue damage to her hip and buttocks. One child had abrasions, cuts and scars across their whole body from a belt. And one required dental surgery to repair broken teeth.
The babysitter took video of the injuries and messaged both the mothers. The women did not return home for more than seven hours after the text messages were sent, court documents show.
Court heard there was a cardboard box in the basement with blood and feces inside that had been used to confine the three-year-old girl. It had been taped shut with a carpet put on top to keep her from getting out.
On Tuesday, the judge adjourned the case to await the results of pre-sentencing reports on the women, who are both in custody.
A sentencing date has not yet been set.
— With files from Global’s Sarah Ryan