Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Boy bruised often, foster mother testifies

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EVEN before he was a year old, and long before he died suddenly, Cameron Ouskan would regularly suffer bruises, his foster mother told a murder trial Tuesday.

"He always had a new bruise -- maybe the size of a dime -- every other day, every few days," Brenda Blacksmith testified.

But in a busy house with two working parents, a daytime babysitter and four other kids, it was unclear who or what was causing the bruising. "No one could explain that to me," she said.

Blacksmith testified on the second day of the second-degree murder trial of her husband, Roderick Blacksmith, who is accused in the Nov. 12, 2008, death of Cameron. The boy was 13 months old when he was rushed to hospital in the small town of Gillam and transferred to a hospital in Thompson, where he died the following day.

The Crown has said it will provide evidence the boy suffered head injuries. Blacksmith told court she never hurt the baby and never saw her husband hurt the baby.

Blacksmith also said she never saw her biological children -- four daughters who were between one and nine at the time -- hurt the baby intentionally.

A few days before his death, Cameron suffered a cut on his head. Blacksmith testified she saw a smudge of blood on the carpet in the living room and her husband checked the baby's head.

"It wasn't bleeding. It was coagulating already," she told court. "He didn't seem bothered by the cut on his head."


-- The Canadian Press


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 22, 2014 A4

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