Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'I wasn't getting any help': killer mom

-- Blames CFS workers for drug relapse, slaying -- Becomes too upset to testify at inquest

  • Print

Nicole Redhead admits she got high on crack cocaine before heading to the hospital to give birth to her daughter.

Less than two years later, the undersized child -- the recipient of weeks of physical abuse that left her tiny body broken and bruised -- had her cries forever silenced by her mother's hands.

A provincial review is underway to examine how the events leading up to the death of her 21-month-old daughter, Jaylene, went unnoticed by those within the provincial child-welfare system.

In April 2011, Redhead, 30, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing Jaylene inside a Child and Family Services-approved shelter meant to supervise her and protect the child. With the criminal case concluded, an inquest began Tuesday into the circumstances of the June 2009 tragedy. Redhead was the first to testify. She tearfully described the events leading up to, and including, her daughter's slaying.

"I wasn't getting any help," said a sobbing Redhead. She claims CFS workers failed to offer her proper community support upon returning her daughter, which ultimately led to a drug relapse and the slaying.

"I knew I could do anything I want," Redhead said when asked by lawyers why she returned to using drugs. She became increasingly upset as the morning wore on, prompting the judge to adjourn her testimony.

"You send me back to that cell, I'm not coming back here," Redhead vowed before being led away. It's not clear when, or if, her evidence will continue.

Redhead pleaded guilty to manslaughter last year after admitting to suffocating Jaylene while living inside a women's shelter under the supervision of CFS, which had returned the girl to her care months earlier. Redhead claims she was trying to stop her from crying and never meant to kill her.

"This was the manifestation of unspeakable brutality and torture," Manitoba Queen's Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal said in handing down his sentence last year. He said Redhead's actions went well beyond her ability to cope and were "closer to anger and rage than frustration and stress."

Jaylene suffered more than 30 separate injuries to "nearly every portion of the body" in the days before she died. They include several bite marks to her legs and severe bruising on her vagina as a result of being kicked so hard it left a footprint impression.

Redhead killed her daughter by placing a hand over her mouth and holding it there for up to two minutes, court was told. After her child went limp, the mother placed her in a crib and left the room. She sat in her suite at the Native Women's Transition Centre for several hours. Her boyfriend called later that night from the Headingley Correctional Centre, where he was an inmate, and she confessed to him.

The boyfriend urged Redhead to call 911, but she refused. He called the shelter and told them what had happened. The night supervisor found Jaylene, called 911 and began CPR. But it was too late.

Redhead was arrested and attempted suicide in an interview room by using a string from her sweatpants to try to hang herself, court was told.

In October 2007, the Awasis CFS agency seized Jaylene after she was born. It obtained a three-month order of guardianship that was extended several times. By December 2008, CFS supported Jaylene's return to her mother. A 12-month supervision order was granted but it was set to expire in December 2009. It required Redhead to live at the treatment centre under CFS supervision.

Redhead said Thursday she repeatedly asked for help to look after Jaylene so she could go grocery shopping or spend time alone. She claims several workers never responded to her requests, or told her they'd get back to her, but never did.

CFS had previously seized Redhead's two other children but did not return them to her care. She was also pregnant at the time of the killing and that child has been made a permanent CFS ward.

Redhead has led a tragic life, defence lawyer Steve Brennan told court Tuesday. Her background included seeing her mother stab her father to death at a drinking party when she was a child.

 

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 12, 2012 A9

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

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.

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 April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bowman pledges to find efficiencies at City Hall

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think e-cigarettes should be banned by the school division?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google