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Mother found not guilty of assaulting child, but P.E.I. judge calls son's evidence disturbing

Justice
Justice

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A P.E.I. woman charged with assaulting her 11-year-old son has been found not guilty, but the judge who heard the case said she found the boy’s evidence to be very disturbing.

The woman appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court recently for a decision after a trial that was spread out over several days.

She was facing two assault charges after an incident at her home involving allegations she assaulted her son and the father of her children.

Orr said considering all the evidence, she wasn’t satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that what happened was assault.

Chief Judge Nancy Orr.
Chief Judge Nancy Orr.

That didn’t mean the woman’s actions were acceptable, Orr said.

“They were anything less than that.”

During the trial, the boy testified by video about his mother grabbing him by the chest, holding onto his leg and scratching him as his father tried to get him away from her.

The boy told the court his mother acted nice to other people, but when she was alone with him and his siblings she would swear and yell at them.

When his mother was around, he always felt like he was going to get hurt and he was pretty sure his mother was trying to make her children think their father wasn’t a good dad, the boy said.

At one point the boy spoke through tears as he said his mother tells him he has no friends.

“That’s not true. I have lots of friends at school,” he said.

The boy also testified his grandmother would sometimes see scratches on him and ask about them.

During the trial, the court heard from both parents who gave different versions of what happened on the day of the incident with both accusing the other of assault.

As she gave her decision, Orr said the facts of the case were such that they would give anyone concern about the family’s dynamic.

Video the father shot showed a lot of confusion, including kids crying, and what happened was a situation less than acceptable for any children to be in, Orr said.

She also said some of the father’s comments in the video were self-serving.

Orr said she found the boy’s evidence very disturbing, and a child’s fear of their mother is always a matter of concern.

It was obvious from the boy’s body language in the video played in court that he was upset and terrified, Orr said.

Orr said it was hard to believe people with so many children could behave in such an irresponsible manner.

The children were removed from the home and Orr said she hoped they were in a better place than they were on the day of the incident.

After finding the woman not guilty, Orr said the children’s future has to be dealt with in the proper court.

Any matters related to child custody are dealt with in the P.E.I. Supreme Court.

The Guardian has chosen not to identify the accused in order to protect her child’s identity.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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