Ottawa kids lived in fear of ‘time bomb’ mom

Nov 16, 2012


Her five children lived in fear for years and were used to getting slapped about the head so much so that when they fell ill with the flu at school they begged teachers not to send them home to their mother.

They were embarrassed to go even to a park, for she would curtsy to the wind, talk to imaginary people and show signs of aggression toward strangers.

For the past four years, Ottawa’s child-protection agency has been investigating a series of reports about their mother, including the time, in November 2008, when her two-year-old boy went missing while she raked leaves. It was around the same time she told a doctor that she was possessed and that her children were messengers of impending doom.

Out of concern for the children’s safety, a doctor twice called the Children’s Aid Society. The doctor first called the child-welfare agency in 2008. She called the agency a second time earlier this year when the mother, who said she suffered from postpartum depression, referenced Andrea Yates, the Texas woman who drowned her five children in a bathtub after suffering from the same kind of depression.

On Oct. 25, the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa won a court order that says that if the mother refuses to take her anti-psychotic drugs she will be banned from the family home.

The mother has refused to take drugs in the past and has declined to regularly see a psychiatrist.

The court issued by Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Lalonde says that from now on the father of the children will be the primary caregiver. The father has agreed to stop using his belt on the children as a form of discipline. He told authorities that he didn’t know it was against the law to use a belt to punish his children.

Social workers told both parents they could face criminal charges if they continued to use corporal punishment. Because the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa refuses to publicly discuss cases, it is not known if they ever reported the abuse to police.

The children all do well in school, including one boy who was once identified for a so-called gifted program. In that case, the mother told authorities that she thought the gifted program was a government plot to use her children.

The court order also says the father will be supervised by child-protection workers for the next 12 months.

According to a doctor’s notes, which were filed as an exhibit in court, the mother has suffered from several delusions which ended with a handful of criminal charges, including erratic driving, trespassing and assaulting her husband for biting his skin to the point of breaking it while he slept. The court record does not show any charges for hitting her children.

The judge who granted the order said the mother is a “time bomb that can go off anytime.”

Though their father used his belt to deliver punishment, the children all reported to authorities that they feared their mother’s silent stare much more.

Lalonde wrote in his decision: “The children are all at a vulnerable age between 14 years and five years of age approximately. The mother’s delusions exhibited in public are an embarrassment to the children. That embarrassment prevents them from engaging with the community and impacts negatively with their development.”

Provincial laws prohibit the Citizen from reporting any details that might identify the five children.