Caged boys appeal slated


Fri, August 20, 2004

THE ATTORNEY General's ministry is launching an appeal on Monday to increase the "unreasonable" nine-month sentence a couple received for keeping their adoptive sons locked in cages. The Ontario Court of Appeal at Osgoode Hall will be asked "to order an expedited hearing date" to consider prison terms for the boys' aunt and her husband, ministry spokesman Valerie Hopper said yesterday.

The couple, whose names cannot be published to protect the boys' identities, adopted them 16 years ago.


They were beaten, forced to sleep in dog cages and wear diapers into their teens. Durham Regional Police freed them from their Blackstock home, east of Port Perry, in 2001. The woman, 43, is the sister of the boys' late mother. The boys, now 17 and 18, were also tied up and handcuffed.

The adoptive parents pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and failure to provide necessities of life.

The Oshawa trial judge, Mr. Justice Donald Halikowski, said the treatment "bordered on torture," but said he found no evidence of intentional sadism and described the couple as having "good intentions." The young boys had behavioural problems due to fetal alcohol syndrome and attention deficit disorder.

The brothers now live in separate foster homes.