Court upholds convictions in ‘bizarre’ incest case

Published On Thu Jan 20 2011

Tracey Tyler Legal Affairs Reporter

The adrenal glands were a clue.

An autopsy revealed the girl who was brought to Cambridge Memorial Hospital one June morning in 2001 had died of natural causes. However, the glands on top of her kidneys were very thin.

It’s a condition that can result from incestuous conception.

Police grew suspicious and asked Ontario’s Centre of Forensic Sciences to set aside a sample of the girl’s blood for possible DNA testing.

Meanwhile, nurses at the hospital were also beginning to think something was fishy.

The 21-year-old man who brought the child to hospital had identified himself as her brother.

But the girl’s mother, then 47, claimed he was her husband.

As it turns out, both were right.

The woman, known only as B.D., was married to her son and had given birth to at least three children fathered by him.

On Thursday, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld her convictions for incest in a case Justice Robert Blair described as giving “new meaning to the word bizarre.”

The names of witnesses in the case, including the woman’s husband/son, are covered by a publication ban. But for ease of reading, Blair has given the son the fictitious name of “Wafi” in the judgment, rather than using initials.

He has named the deceased girl “Wafu.”

B.D. insists Wafi is actually a prince descended from ancient Nigerian/Ethiopian royalty.

She was sentenced in 2005 to 43 months in prison in addition to five months of pre-trial custody.

She was also convicted of 46 forgery offences. Staff at a local Staples store called police after she discarded photocopies in a garbage can.

B.D. had been creating fraudulent affidavits and birth certificates that looked like they had been certified by church officials, in an attempt to obtain false birth certificates for seven fictitious children.

Her primary ground of appeal was that police should not have been given authorization to collect blood samples from her and Wafi so their DNA could be compared with Wafu’s genetic coding.

Denis Michaud, a forensic scientist at the centre, analyzed the samples. His conclusion: B.D. was Wafi’s mother and Wafi was the father of the deceased girl.

B.D. had admitted she was Wafu’s mother.