Court corrected 'great injustice' to victims


Fri, November 5, 2004

THE COURT of appeal has corrected "a great injustice" by giving more jail time to the Blackstock couple at the heart of one of the worst child abuse cases in Canadian history, social workers say. In July, the couple -- who can only be identified as Jean and John D. -- were given nine-month sentences for the 13 years of torture they inflicted on their adoptive sons.

The Crown had asked for eight-year sentences after the pair pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and failure to provide the necessaries of life.

Yesterday, the appeal court ruled that Jean's sentence will be increased to five years and John will serve four years.

"The court has validated the outrage that was expressed by many people across the country when the initial sentence was handed down," said James Dubray, executive director of the Durham Children's Aid Society.

"We are very pleased with the revised sentences handed down. The court of appeal has corrected a great injustice and recognized the extreme nature of the abuse that these boys suffered."

The new sentences will help the boys with their recovery, CAS spokesman Andrea Maenza said. "Increasing the time validates their feelings," Maenza said.