Calgary mother sentenced to three years in jail for death of her son
After upholding Tamara Lovett's conviction for criminal negligence causing death, a Calgary judge sentenced her to three years in jail on Friday.
In January, Tamara Lovett was found guilty of criminal negligence causing death in connection with the death of her seven-year-old son Ryan.
Ryan Lovett died in hospital in March 2013 from sepsis that had developed from an untreated strep infection.
The court heard that Tamara never took her son to see a doctor for treatment, choosing instead to treat him with various holistic remedies including dandelion tea and oil of oregano.
Medical professionals testified that the boy’s body was filled with Group A streptococcus when he died.
Lovett’s lawyer, Alain Hepner, initiated a Jordan application on October 24, saying that there was a 38 month wait before her case went before the court.
R. v Jordan, a 2016 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, sets out a limit of 18 months between charges and the trial in provincial cases without an inquiry and 30 months in other cases.
The Crown suggested a sentence of four to five years while the defence argued for a one year sentence plus probation.
The presiding judge sentenced her to three years in jail.
Jonathan Hak, the prosecutor in the trial, said that the court gave the Jordan application a very thorough analysis.
"In the end. I am satisfied she came to the right conclusion; this just isn't the type of case where that remedy should be given, especially post-conviction."
Hak understands that Alberta has an inadequate justice system and those must be addressed moving forward.
As for the decision itself, Hak says that he isn't sure what justice means when a mother is found guilty of killing her child.
He says that the message that should be received from the case should be that parents have a legal and moral obligation to take their child to a doctor and seek medical advice if they are not getting better.
Alain Hepner, Lovett's lawyer says the sentence was quite a bit more than he was hoping for his client. "She'd reviewed the case file and I'd reviewed the case file. There was a case that supported my range, but her findings of fact made it a little more aggravating."
Hepner says Lovett is taking the decision very hard, but she's already gotten a worse sentence before the trial even started. "This sentence pales in comparision to the life sentence she's already received in the death of her child and that can never be underscored enough."
Hepner offered no comment on the possibility of an appeal.