Witness takes stand to give voice to Ryan Lovett in criminal negligence trial
Barbara La Pointe, a friend of the Lovett family, testified on Wednesday in the trial of Tamara Lovett, the Calgary woman accused of criminally neglecting her late seven-year-old son.
In March of 2013, Ryan Lovett suffered a strep infection and died from sepsis.
The day prior to the child’s death, La Pointe visited the Lovett’s apartment on 17 Avenue Southwest with groceries. La Pointe told the court she saw Ryan in bed. “He was a shell of a shell of a shell,” recalled La Pointe. “I recognized him but I couldn’t believe what was before my eyes.”
La Pointe says she chose not to call 911 as Tamara did not want a doctor involved. "Tamara was the mother and I wanted to respect that.”
“I was in an utter state of shock,” La Pointe told reporters following Wednesday’s testimony. “I think I got very confused and I was afraid. I was not strong enough. Looking back, I wish I would have been the woman I am now.”
Ryan’s mother, 47-year-old Tamara Lovett, faces charges in connection with her son's death including failing to provide the necessaries of life and criminal negligence.
La Pointe remembers Ryan as “a deserving child, just a beautiful boy that could have easily had a bright future ahead of him.”
“He was very much a free spirit. He was always so incredibly grateful to see me and grateful to be loved. He was grateful to have someone on his side.”
La Pointe says Ryan’s death has had a drastic impact on many facets of her life.
“It’s affected my life, it’s affected my children’s lives, it’s affected my marriage, it’s affected how I teach children,” said La Pointe. “For two years, I haven’t even been able to see a little boy going by on the street.”
“I know Ryan is in heaven and I know he’s happy and that brings me the greatest peace ever.”
According to La Pointe, Ryan’s death was completely preventable and speaks to a larger societal issue.
“I still love Tamara,” said La Pointe outside the courthouse. “It’s so hard to be a mom. We need to support mothers and be more of a community. It’s amazing how quickly in our society we can become isolated.”
The trial is scheduled to continue Thursday.
With files from CTV's Shaun Frenette