Warren Johnson, Donna Irving, Guardians Of Katelynn Sampson, Get Life In Prison

CP  |  By Posted: 05/ 1/2012 6:39 pm Updated: 05/ 2/2012 10:27 am

Katelynn Sampson
Skye Soutar (left) is consoled by her mother Pam after leaving the funeral for seven-year-old Katelynn Sampson in Toronto on Tuesday August 12, 2008. Hundreds of mourners grieved at the funeral for a seven-year-old girl who was found dead in her caregiver's apartment with savage injuries that shocked even hardened police officers.

TORONTO - The guardians of a Toronto girl have been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in her death.

Seven-year-old Katelynn Sampson died in 2008 with 70 injuries found on her body, in a case that drew outrage.

Police say Warren Johnson, 50, and Donna Irving, 33, beat the girl for months until she went into septic shock.

It was later revealed a family court judge had granted custody of the child to Irving, despite her criminal convictions for prostitution, drugs and violence.

Advocates at the time argued that a number of points of protection had failed Katelynn.

The province has since made changes requiring guardians applying for custody who are not parents to provide a police background check as part of their application.

The pair took Katelynn into their home when her drug-addicted mother tried to get clean and promised to pay them $200 a month.

"I am in pain, I'm hurt all the time, I have a constant sense of hopelessness," Katelynn's mother Bernice said in a victim impact statement. "All I want to know is why, why did they take something that didn't belong to them?"

Katelynn's grandmother also read a statement, along with a former teacher and the principal at her former school.

(CFRB, 680News)

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Filed by Christian Cotroneo  |