Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mother on trial for killing daughter cites lack of CFS

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A rural Manitoba mother says a lack of Child and Family Services help left her "overwhelmed" in the days leading up to the killing of her four-year-old daughter.

The 34-year-old -- who can't be named under a court order meant to protect the identities of two other children -- appeared in court Friday after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the October 2010 incident. Crown and defence lawyers completed their submissions in the troubling case, and provincial court Judge Sid Lerner said he would give his decision on April 10.

The Crown is seeking a 12-year prison term, while the woman's lawyer has asked for eight years behind bars. The woman remains in custody without bail.

The girl died in hospital of major injuries from repeated assaults while living in the hamlet of Stuartburn, about 90 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, just east of Highway 59. CFS apprehended two other children, a girl, 13, and a boy, 18, who lived in the house at the time.

Crown attorney Breta Passler said the woman initially claimed innocence, suggesting her daughter had fallen. She later admitted the truth, saying she had beaten her several times.

Defence lawyer Lisa Labossiere told court her client was in desperate need of help after having her three kids returned to her about a year before the killing.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 9, 2013 A8

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