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Parents of Girl Who Nearly Died After Dental Abscesses Could Face Prison

October 24, 2017
by CBC News Calgary

The Crown is recommending a couple from southern Alberta’s Blood Tribe be jailed for 12 to 18 months for failing to provide the necessaries of life to their daughter, who nearly died from sepsis traced back to dental abscesses so severe that her jawbone was visible.

The couple pleaded guilty to the charges in a Lethbridge court in March after their daughter nearly died from sepsis following months of neglect in 2012 and 2013, when she was nine.

The couple is not being identified to protect the identity of their daughter.

A Gladue report —  used to identify systemic injustices in the sentencing of individuals of Indigenous heritage — was ordered in the sentencing of the parents.

Crown prosecutor Vaughan Hartigan told the Alberta Court of the Queen’s Bench in Lethbridge on Monday that, if it weren’t for the Gladue report detailing the couple’s extreme poverty and struggles with substance abuse, he would have asked Justice James Langston for a more severe sentence of 30 months.

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