WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg teen has admitted to grabbing his toddler niece from a home, seriously injuring her and then stuffing her in an outdoor recycling bin during a drunken stupor on a frigid New Year’s Eve.
The 17-year-old, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated assault for the incident earlier this year.
Crown and defence lawyers recommended the teen be given the maximum youth sentence of two years custody and supervision.
He was given credit for six months of time already served, and will do another year behind bars followed by six months of community supervision.
The teen grabbed the 19-month-old child during the chaos of fighting at a New Year's Eve party, went outside, tripping and falling twice, and landing hard on the baby both times.
The baby suffered critical injuries including a fractured skull and brain bleed, court was told.
The teen then put the baby inside a recycling bin behind a home and closed the lid. He returned to the house party, playing dumb when others, including his sister, began questioning where the child had gone. It was -31 C with the wind chill at the time.
"He pretended to be concerned for the child (back at the party)," Crown attorney Lisa Carson said Thursday.
Fortunately, a man who had been kicked out of the party heard the baby’s cries. He was on his way back to the party with a machete, to get his revenge, but dropped the weapon, cradled the child and called for help.
"The child was in a great degree of trauma by the time she got to the hospital," said Carson. "She came close to not surviving the incident."
Police said the teen couldn’t explain why he did it, except to say he didn’t agree with the way his sister was parenting her.
"He said he was worried about the circumstances in which the child was living," said Carson.
Seven months later, he still can’t explain his actions.
"He says he does a lot of crazy stuff when he’s intoxicated," said Carson. "This is a very troubled young man who’s going to need a lot of assistance."
Defence lawyer Katherine Dowle told court Thursday her client deeply regrets the incident. The teen has been subjected to numerous threats and taunting from other inmates at the Manitoba Youth Centre since his arrest.
Last month the teen punched another youth prisoner in the face and kicked him in the head during a dispute. He pleaded guilty to an additional charge of assault for that incident, and was placed on one year of probation in addition to his other sentence.
(Winnipeg Free Press)
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