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Lethbridge mother enters guilty plea in six-week-old infant assault case


**WARNING: The details in the following story may be disturbing to readers**

A Lethbridge mother has pleaded guilty to failing to provide the necessaries of life to her six-week-old daughter. 

John Oman, the lawyer for the 31-year-old woman, entered the plea in court on Friday.

The mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her child, appeared via video link from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre wearing a teal-coloured jumpsuit, but did not speak.

According to an agreed statement of facts released in court on Friday, police were called to the home the mother shared with the child's father and a roommate in Lethbridge on Jan. 18 after the roommate reported suspicions of abuse.

When officers arrived, they found a six-week-old girl in medical distress. The child was having trouble breathing and her hand was twitching.

The agreed statement of facts says that the father had abused the child, slapping her face, throwing her on the bed and shoving a bottle down her throat.

On Jan 18, police called in paramedics to attend the home and take the child to the hospital. As they were on their way to the Chinook Regional Hospital the infant suffered a seizure.

She was taken to the Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary with a brain bleed, injuries to her spine and her left eye.

According to the agreed statement of facts, the doctors describe the wounds as "worse than a motor vehicle collision," and weren't sure of survival.

In the mother's agreed statement of facts, she says only the father, roommate and herself had access to the child.

The Crown read the statement on her behalf, saying that the roommate called police after seeing the father covering the child’s mouth of the child and stopping her from being able to make sounds in another room of the house.

On Jan. 18, the mother says the baby was having a hard time moving her arm and difficulty breathing.

She wanted to take the child to see a doctor, but says the father wanted to wait and that’s when the roommate called police.

Doctors say the child's prognosis is not known and they believe she will suffer from cerebral palsy and may not have vision in her left eye.

The now five-month-old remains in hospital.

The child's 52-year-old father was also in court. His name has also been withheld to protect the identity of the child.  

He is charged with aggravated assault, sexual assault, sexual interference and failing to provide the necessaries of life.

A resolution may be reached at his next court appearance on June 23.

Sentencing for the mother is set for Aug. 18. Top Stories

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