May 25, 2015


Latest News

Phoenix's stepfather too angry, inquiry told

Probation officer feared being alone with him

Phoenix Sinclair's stepfather/murderer was such a volatile and angry man, his probation officer didn't want be alone in a room with him.

"My concern was he might be violent in my office," Miriam Browne testified Wednesday at the inquiry into the death of the little girl in care.

Kim Edwards: conflicting testimony

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES

Kim Edwards: conflicting testimony Photo Store

The former probation officer with the domestic violence unit is now the registrar-executive director of the Manitoba Institute of Registered Social Workers. Browne testified about legislation to regulate the social work profession in Manitoba and her role as Karl McKay's probation officer in 1999.

In 2011, the province ordered an inquiry to examine how Phoenix fell through Manitoba's child welfare safety net. Phoenix's mother, Samantha Kematch, and her boyfriend, McKay, killed Phoenix in 2005 but her death wasn't discovered until 2006. They were convicted of first-degree murder in 2008.

Long before meeting Kematch, McKay was a violent man known to Child and Family Services, said his former probation officer, who recalled meeting him more than a decade ago.

"I certainly felt that day that he was a very angry person and that my safety was at risk, and that it would not be safe for one individual to meet with him in the future," said Browne.

She wrote a warning letter to Child and Family Services about McKay, who was on probation for beating his former spouses.

It said he was at a "high risk to reoffend in a violent fashion" and that children have been present when he was violent.

"We have serious concern for the safety of (the woman) and her children," the letter said.

The inquiry has heard that when Phoenix's mother resumed caring for the four-year-old in 2004, Kematch told a CFS social worker her boyfriend was a trucker who stayed with her when he was in Winnipeg. That man was McKay, but the CFS intake worker didn't ask for his name or check to see if he had any prior involvement with the agency.

Browne testified she wrote the letter to CFS about McKay because he was such a threat and she wanted to make sure CFS knew that.

"Its purpose was to formally document our concerns to the child-welfare agency responsible for dealing with his significant other and their children."

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 20, 2012 A4

History

Updated on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 9:53 AM CST: replaces photo, adds fact box

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 5:01 pm

Clampdown begins in Toronto - shar.es/1rUmrP pic.twitter.com/9ahyUSNSNb

Mike McIntyre | @mikeoncrime

May 25 4:58 pm

*NEW* Treyvonne Willis has filed appeal of 1st-degree conviction in murder-for-hire of Kaila Tran, seeking new trial. 8 grounds listed.

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 4:36 pm

Condemned to death: But Egypt's young unbowed wfp.to/Rl1

Bruce Owen | @fpbowen

May 25 4:20 pm

The exodus continues: Three more NDP staffers headed to Alberta to work for Notley government. #mbpoli

Bartley Kives | @bkives

May 25 4:04 pm

I'm doing a Q&A on Tues at the WFP News Café with Philip Slayton, author of a new book on Canada's dismal mayors. shar.es/1r9ya2

Scroll down to load more

Top