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Calgary mother accused in daughter’s death found not criminally responsible
Published Tuesday, January 9, 2018 12:30PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 9, 2018 6:53PM MST
A Calgary woman charged in the death of her disabled daughter in 2016 was back in court on Tuesday and the judge in the case says the Crown has proven that her criminal negligence caused her daughter’s death.
Patricia Couture, 70, was charged after her daughter Melissa was found dead in the family home on Woodridge Close S.W. on April 26, 2016.
Melissa, 38, had cerebral palsy and suffered from severe mental and physical disabilities.
During the first part of the trial, court heard that Melissa’s mind was that of a three or four-year-old and she was completely immobile.
Patricia was Melissa’s primary care giver, after a divorce in 1998, and she told the court that she didn’t realize how much her daughter’s health had deteriorated.
She testified in her own defence and cited religious scripture saying she used her belief in God to protect her daughter.
In September 2017, the judge in the case said there was evidence of possible delusions and ordered a psychiatric assessment for Couture.
Two doctors who met with Couture testified before the court on Tuesday and a psychiatrist determined that she had a long-standing delusional disorder.
The doctor said that Couture suffered from psychosis for the last 30 years and that she was also depressed.
The psychiatrist said that Couture’s judgement was impaired and that she believed an external force or energy was impacting her daughter and making her sick.
A second medical expert testified on Tuesday afternoon and Couture was found not criminally responsible.