Laura Babcock had intense fear of death since childhood, court hears - InfoNews.ca

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Laura Babcock had intense fear of death since childhood, court hears

Laura Babcock is shown in a Toronto Police Service handout photo. A murder trial is hearing that a young Toronto woman who disappeared more than five years ago and is presumed dead had struggled with an overwhelming fear of death since childhood.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Toronto Police Service MANDATORY CREDIT
November 01, 2017 - 1:29 PM

TORONTO - It took an Ontario prosecutor 10 minutes to read through a lifetime of pain for Laura Babcock.

Jill Cameron walked the jury in the murder trial through the young woman's mental health records, which detailed more than a dozen visits to specialists in the year leading up to her disappearance in the summer of 2012.

"She feels no one loves or cares about her," reads a note from a psychiatrist at Toronto's St. Joseph's Health Centre on April 29, 2012.

She banged her head against the wall to relieve her "extreme anxiety," and she lived with an overwhelming fear of death since childhood, read another.

Babcock's mother, Linda, closed her eyes and bowed her head as she sat in the packed courtroom on Wednesday. Her father, Clayton, rubbed his temples and clenched his jaw.

The Crown contends Dellen Millard, 32, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 30 of Oakville, Ont., killed Babcock and burned her body in a large incinerator because she was the odd woman out in a love triangle with Millard and his girlfriend.

They believe she was killed on July 3 or 4, 2012. Her body has not been found. Both Millard and Smich have pleaded not guilty.

Millard, who is representing himself, has said he didn't care much about his girlfriend at the time or about her feud with Babcock. Court has heard there was bad blood between the two women.

Babcock's mental health records came as an admission in court agreed upon by the prosecution and both accused.

"We had a stack of documents from Ms. Babcock's various mental health treatments at three different hospitals that she had attended as an outpatient and on one occasion as an inpatient," Justice Michael Code told the jury.

They boiled her records down to eight pages that only detail the time from August 2011 to April 2012.

Babcock lived through extreme anxiety, depression and borderline personality disorder, the records state. She purged herself. She cried all the time, and she obsessed over death.

"Her major concern is death and what would happen after she dies," reads a note from a nurse at William Osler Health Centre in Etobicoke, Ont., on Aug. 18, 2011.

The next day, Babcock told a social worker at the same hospital she has had negative thoughts since she was five years old.

"Does not want to die, but likes to see blood. Some days she believes anything is doable," reads one note from a doctor at William Osler on Sept. 15, 2011.

She would blame her parents for not understanding her. Then she'd take it back.

On Jan. 20 2012, a note from her file at a Toronto mental health hospital reads: "Long-standing history of worthlessness and emptiness."

She told a nurse on March 14, 2012 that she sometimes wished to die, but on several other occasions she told hospital staff she did not contemplate suicide.

Babcock told one psychiatrist she felt misunderstood. She accused her parents of not believing her most recent diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.

"She would sometimes state that it's not until she's dead that people would realize she had an illness," said a note from a psychiatrist on April 29, 2012.

At that, Babcock's mother breathed deeply, shaking her head.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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