Officials had enough info to save 7-year-old before her death: lawyer

TORONTO -- A coroner's inquest is hearing that a seven-year-old Toronto girl killed by her guardians was the victim of "significantly flawed decision-making" by all those who had the opportunity -- and the duty -- to save her.

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The lawyer representing Katelynn Sampson's mother says child protection workers at two agencies had all the information they needed to intervene, as did officials at the girl's school.

In her closing submissions, Suzan Fraser said that at no point did anyone ask Katelynn how she was doing or what she wanted.

The sharing of information between child welfare agencies has been a recurring theme at the inquest, but Fraser said they simply didn't use the knowledge they had, with tragic results.

Katelynn Sampson was beaten for months until she died from complications from her injuries.

Her battered body was found early on Aug. 3, 2008, in the apartment of a couple who were supposed to be caring for her.

Donna Irving and Warren Johnson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in her death.

Katelynn's mother, Bernice Sampson, was addicted to crack and gave her daughter to Johnson and Irving in a misguided attempt to give Katelynn a better life.

The inquest heard that several agencies, including the Children's Aid Society, missed opportunities to help the Toronto girl before her death despite knowing her guardians had previous criminal convictions.


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