ALBERTA

Calgary Court Overturns Publication Ban On Calgary Parents, Dead Child's Name

11/17/2015 05:55 EST | Updated 11/17/2015 05:59 EST
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

CALGARY — A publication ban on identifying the Calgary parents accused of causing their baby's death has been overturned.

Jennifer Clark and Jeromie Clark were charged in December 2014 with criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessities of life.

Their 14-month-old son, John, died the day after he was brought to a Calgary hospital in November 2013.

Earlier this month, a provincial court judge at the couple's preliminary hearing agreed to the publication ban requested by Jeromie Clark's lawyer.

The judge also ordered the couple to stand trial on the charges they face.

Several media outlets challenged the ban and, in a written ruling, a Court of Queen's Bench justice has overturned it, saying the lower-court judge made an error.

"There was no evidence before the judge of any harm that could be sustained by the deceased child as a result of possibly identifying the names of his accused parents or any balancing performed by the judge of how such harm might be weighed against the deleterious effects of the ban on the free expression of those affected by the ban,'' wrote Justice Jo'Anne Strekaf.

Police have said the child had a staph infection that was untreatable due to complications from malnutrition. They also said the family has strict dietary restrictions based on faith and nutritional beliefs.

The couple is to be back in court on Jan. 8 when a trial date is to set.

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