A Westman woman has been sentenced to one year in jail for the “shocking” abuse she inflicted on her two-year-old great niece.
The abuse left the girl with bruises across her body and she couldn’t walk properly due to her injuries.
But the offender, whom the girl called “Grandma,” wouldn’t take the child to a doctor.
“The only reason she didn’t seek medical attention was because she was in fact the person who caused those injuries,” Justice Robert Cummings concluded in May as he convicted the woman of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.
Sentencing was then adjourned to Oct. 31 when Cummings imposed one year in jail to be followed by three years probation.
The 58-year-old offender can’t legally be named because it would identify the young victim.
The woman’s trial was held on two days in January and ended on May 17 with her conviction as Cummings summarized the following evidence.
The abuse happened between Nov. 4 and Dec. 3, 2008 while the girl was being cared for at the offender’s home at a Westman reserve.
The offender’s 19-year-old grandson, who was also living at the home, testified that the woman had hit the girl in the face with a garbage can lid.
He said that on another occasion his grandmother had punched the girl up to four times on the chest and abdomen.
She’d also struck the girl on the back of her legs and her back with a stick, he said.
Following the attack with the stick, he had to carry the girl to the bathroom when she needed to go because she had trouble walking.
The abuse was discovered by a Child and Family Services worker who visited the home and found the girl with swollen eyes and bruises on her face.
At the worker’s request, the girl was taken to a doctor who found bruises across her body.
The child was then sent to hospital where the worker also noticed that the young victim couldn’t put weight on her foot.
The girl told the worker, “Grandma hurt my back.” Even though the offender is the girl’s great aunt, the child called her “Grandma.”
On the stand, the offender denied the assaults and said she didn’t know how the girl received her bruises.
On previous occasions she’d claimed that the girl had slipped between the toilet and bathtub, and that a DVD machine or TV had fallen on the girl.
However, an expert on child abuse testified that the girl’s injuries weren’t consistent with an accident.
Those injuries included at least one blow to her head that caused blood to pool near her eyes to give her a “racoon look.”
There were also bruises to her cheek, upper arm, lower back, left elbow and legs. Marks on her ears indicated that they’d been smacked against the side of her head.
Court documents indicate that the girl’s leg had been hurt but hadn’t been broken.
Cummings described the injuries as “shocking.”
The offender, however, still maintains that she was “covering” for another adult who she says committed the assault.
She maintains that she didn’t seek medical care for the child out of fear that the girl would be taken from her.