06/20/2012 07:24 EDT | Updated 08/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Saskatoon mother jailed for criminal negligence causing death of toddler

SASKATOON - A Saskatoon woman whose 17-month-old daughter died because she didn't get medical treatment is going to jail for two years less a day.

Queen's Bench Justice Neil Gabrielson sentenced Charissma McDonald on Wednesday, saying a strong message needs to be sent "so that this senseless tragedy will not be repeated."

McDonald pleaded guilty last fall to criminal negligence causing the 2006 death of Shatoya Chatelaine.

Court heard that the little girl had a skin infection around her mouth and face.

McDonald was told to bring Shatoya to the hospital, but she didn't and two weeks later the little girl was dead.

An autopsy found Shatoya had a skin infection which can cause a fatal blood-borne infection.

The autopsy also found four separate rib fractures from two separate dates, numerous bruises of different ages and that the little girl had lost a lot of weight to the point where a doctor said she had no fat on her body.

McDonald admitted that she didn't get medical treatment for Shatoya because she was scared the girl and her siblings would be taken by Social Services.

"That may be an explanation for the accused's failure to take her for medical care but it is no excuse," Gabrielson said in the sentencing decision.

"The victim died from an infection but it was an infection which could have been treated but for the criminal negligence of the accused.

"The accused may be remorseful but the victim lost her life as a result of the accused's actions or inactions."

The Crown had sought a three-year jail sentence.

The defence said an appropriate sentence would be 18 months to two years less a day, with the sentence to be served in the community.

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