Crown wants new trial for Calgary woman who put newborns in garbage

OTTAWA -- Alberta Crown prosecutors say the charge of infanticide is "outdated and rife with problems" and are asking Canada's top court to order a new trial for a woman convicted of the crime after tossing three of her newborns into the garbage.

See Full Article

Meredith Borowiec of Calgary was originally charged with two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of two of her children in 2008 and 2009.

A third infant born in 2010 survived when the baby's father, not knowing it was his child, helped pull the newborn out of a neighbourhood trash bin after a passerby heard cries.

The trial judge ruled Borowiec was suffering from a mental disturbance at the time and found her guilty of the lesser crime of infanticide, along with aggravated assault.

Borowiec was sentenced to an additional 18 months in jail two years ago on top of the 18 months she had already spent in custody. She was also given three years of probation.

Alberta's Court of Appeal upheld the infanticide verdicts, but it was a split decision, meaning the matter automatically moves to the Supreme Court. Arguments were to be heard Wednesday.

In documents before the high court, prosecutor Julie Morgan argues there is no clear guidance as to what constitutes a "disturbed mind."

"The defence of infanticide is vague, outdated and rife with problems," she writes. "The infanticide provision requires a purposive and pro-social interpretation that would prevent this defence from being applied across the board to all mothers who kill their newborn children while only mildly disturbed."

Borowiec's lawyers, Andrea Serink and Alias Sanders, argue infanticide is part of the human condition.

"The dissenting justice and the appellants raise a floodgates argument that mothers suffering the 'baby blues' will kill their offspring days or weeks or months after birth, then escape murder convictions if this appeal is dismissed," they write.

"Times have changed, women's circumstances have improved, neonaticides have substantially diminished, but prototypical offenders, of which the respondent is the most recent, are and probably always will be amongst us."

In interviews with police, Borowiec admitted she heard the babies cry before she put them in trash bags and dropped them into garbage bins, but denied doing anything to hurt them before she disposed of them.

Court heard she didn't even look to see whether it was a boy or a girl before she wrapped her first-born infant in a towel and put it in a garbage bag.

Borowiec admitted to a similar scenario in 2009 when she again gave birth into a toilet in her apartment, wrapped the child in a towel and dropped it into the bathroom garbage before walking out to a Dumpster and disposing of the child.

Borowiec gave birth to a fourth baby while in police custody in July 2012. The child was taken from her.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 4th Ontario police officer takes his life in nine months

    Canada News CTV News
    Police advocates say it is time for action to help officers struggling with mental health after another Ontario officer took his life Wednesday. Ottawa-area Const. Roch Durivage is the fourth member of the Ontario Provincial Police to die by suicide since July. Source
  • China has stopped buying Canadian canola seed

    Canada News CBC News
    Chinese importers are unwilling to purchase Canadian canola seed at the moment, the group that represents the industry in Canada says. Earlier this month, Chinese customs authorities revoked the sales licence for a major Canadian canola supplier, Richardson International. Source
  • What is the 'Florida man' challenge and why is it trending online?

    World News CTV News
    A glut of bizarre stories from the Sunshine State have helped “Florida man” become the latest challenge sweeping social media. The game sees players Google “Florida man” and their birthday, without the year, to see what headline appears at the top of their search results. Source
  • UN human rights council condemns use of 'excessive force' by Israel at Gaza border

    World News CBC News
    The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Israel's "apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force" against civilian protesters in Gaza, and called for perpetrators of violations in the strip to face justice. Source
  • U.S. teachers shot with pellet guns during active-shooter drill

    World News CTV News
    Several teachers at an Indiana elementary school were injured after they were told to kneel and then shot with plastic pellets “execution style” during an active-shooter drill, according to the Indiana State Teachers Association. The association said law enforcement members led teachers from Meadowlawn Elementary School in Monticello, Ind. Source
  • EU, Syria reject Trump's statement on Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump's abrupt declaration that Washington will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights drew strong condemnation from Syria, while the European Union and countries like Egypt and Russia also rejecting the overture. The Syrian government called it "irresponsible," and a threat to international peace and stability. Source
  • Drink, pray, recycle: Meet the Hay River nun raising money for music

    Canada News CBC News
    A Catholic nun who retired from teaching has raised thousands of dollars for community projects with her simple, but streamlined, bottle recycling program in Hay River, N.W.T. Sister Maggie Beaudette, 71, raises about $2,000 every year by accepting, sorting and cashing-in refundable beer cans, pop bottles and milk jugs. Source
  • N.Z. calls for solidarity at Muslim summit as Erdogan again screens shooter video

    World News CTV News
    ISTANBUL -- New Zealand's deputy prime minister said the gunman accused of killing 50 people in two mosques in the South Pacific nation would spend the rest of his life in isolation in prison and called for solidarity to eradicate “hate-filled ideologies. Source
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency recalls Janes brand chicken nuggets

    Canada News CBC News
    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced the recall of Janes brand pub style chicken nuggets because they could be contaminated with salmonella. The recall affects uncooked 800g breaded chicken nuggets with a best before date of Dec. 15, 2019. Source
  • Cyclone Idai deaths could exceed 1,000 in southern Africa

    World News CBC News
    Even as floodwaters began to recede in parts of Mozambique on Friday, fears rose that the death toll could soar as bodies are revealed. The number of deaths could be beyond the 1,000 predicted by the country's president earlier this week, said Elhadj As Sy, the secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Source