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Caregiver accused of negligence in woman with Down syndrome’s death stands trial in B.C.

Click to play video: 'Trial begins for woman accused in death of woman with Down Syndrome' Trial begins for woman accused in death of woman with Down Syndrome
The trial has begun for a B.C. woman who was charged with criminal negligence after the body of a woman with Down Syndrome was found in her home. – Apr 6, 2022

A trial is underway for the B.C. caregiver accused in the death of a 54-year-old woman with Down syndrome.

Florence Girard was found dead in the Port Coquitlam home of Astrid Dahl on Oct. 13, 2018, weighing just 56 pounds.

Read more: Criminal neglect alleged after B.C. woman with developmental disability dies in care

Girard had been in care most of her life, and required around-the-clock care, according to Coquitlam RCMP.

She had been living in Dahl’s home for about eight years in a residential home-sharing agreement, a caregiving model where the caregiver and client live together, which was overseen by the non-profit Kinsight Community Society.

Click to play video: 'Charges laid after B.C. woman with developmental disability dies in care' Charges laid after B.C. woman with developmental disability dies in care
Charges laid after B.C. woman with developmental disability dies in care – Jan 29, 2020

At the time, RCMP said the coroner had determined Girard died of malnourishment and starvation, and Dahl was later charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life.

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Crown alleges Dahl failed to give Gerard her prescriptions and take her to medical appointments over an extended period of time, leading to her decline in health, failure to eat and eventual death.

On Thursday, the court is set to hear testimony from staff with the Kinsight Community Society.

A separate charge of failure to provide the necessaries of life laid against the Kinsight society was stayed in September, 2020.

— with files from Grace Ke

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