BC foster parents tortured 11-year-old to death; 10 years in prison | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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BC foster parents tortured 11-year-old to death; 10 years in prison

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A BC couple who embarked on a campaign of torture that led to the death of an 11-year-old foster child in their care will spend 10 years in jail.

BC Provincial Court judge Peter La Prairie described the home where the two foster children lived as a "house of horrors" condemning the fosters parents' actions as "evil and inhumane."

"The children were young and defenceless," the judge said in a June 16 BC Provincial Court decision. "They were beaten with various objects and subjected to dehumanizing acts. They were forced to endure excruciating pain and suffered severe injuries."

All the names and where the incident took place have been redacted, and the court documents only say the events took place in a First Nations community.

The decision said in October 2019 three children were taken from their mother and placed in the care of the foster couple, referred to as M.F. and T.T in the document.

The eldest was 13, the middle child who was killed was 10, and the youngest was 7 years old at the time.

The three foster children lived with the foster parents' own three children and T.T.'s brother.

In September 2020, the parents took the 10-year-old out of school and he missed medical appointments.

"Over a period of several months, (the two youngest foster children) suffered consistent and severe abuse by Mr. F. and Ms. T," the decision said. "The abuse was deliberate and protracted and at times involved the use of weapons, restraints and the infliction of severe physical and mental pain and suffering."

The foster parents abused the children individually and together. They were made to wear diapers and locked in a closet.

"They were not fed with the other children and food was withheld from them as punishment," the judge said. "(They) were forced to eat faeces from their diapers, as well as their own vomit and urine."

"The assaults of (the children) included slaps, punches, kicking, whipping, they were grabbed by their throats, ears and hair, stomped upon, choked, gagged, bound, struck with weapons including belts and pieces of wood, and made to do excessive exercise routines for hours. Often they were bound with their eyes taped shut during the exercise routines. They were forced to do the exercises in diapers or naked. They were also forced to wear a neck brace while doing the exercises and they were strapped to their beds with the window left open," the decision read.

Much of the abuse was captured in CCTV cameras in the home.

The parents can be seen laughing while they abuse the children, the court document said.

Judge La Prairie said he watched 400 hours of the video footage.

"To state that they are disturbing, shocking and horrific is an understatement," the judge said. "The children are seen in emaciated states, forced to do jumping jacks while naked or wearing diapers in the home while Ms. T. and Mr. F. sit on the couch on their phones. The level of violence depicted in the videos is incomprehensible."

The judge said the 10-year-old was so emaciated that he looks like a skeleton.

"He has the appearance of a child from the holocaust," the judge said. "It is incomprehensible how someone can inflict such pain, suffering and violence on an innocent child."

The judge points out that the foster mother's brother lived in the home and did nothing to stop the abuse.

"The children were forced to do jumping jacks outside. They were skeletons. The neighbours would have seen their conditions. No one did anything," he said.

The decision said in February 2021 the boy sustained a traumatic brain injury after being dragged into the kitchen and thrown on to the ground, then kicked and grabbed around the neck.

The foster mom didn't call 911 for more than an hour after he was unresponsive.

He was airlifted to BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

He had injuries to his head, brain, lungs, abdominal organs and skin, and was chronically malnourished and grossly underweight. He was removed from his life support machine and died. He was 11 years old.

The foster parents were arrested and charged with manslaughter. They both pleaded guilty.

It's unclear why, but the couple came to a plea deal, and in a joint submission to the court Crown and defence lawyers asked for 10 years in jail.

Judge La Prairie accepted the sentence.

The judge notes the Ministry of Children and Family Development last visited the home in July 2020, two months before the boy was pulled out of school and the abuse began.

"If there had been a follow-up visit later in the year (the boys) emaciated condition would have been observed. No one did anything," he said.

"It is inconceivable to understand how the abuse as depicted on the videos continued over a lengthy period of time, with the children in emaciated conditions and no one did anything," the judge said. "These are issues that need to be addressed."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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