Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mother in custody after two children stabbed in Winnipeg

A 35-year old mother remains in custody after an attack that sent her four-month old baby and nine-year-old son to hospital in critical condition.
Police said both children were stabbed in the stomach, with a source adding the infant suffered the most extensive wounds. Their condition has since been updated to stable.
The Free Press has learned the 35-year-old mother has recently been suffering from post-partum depression. Police, who had to use a translator to interview the woman Thursday night, are investigating what, if any, role that condition or any other possible mental-health issue may have played.
"Any time a stab wound happens to a four-month-old, no matter how superficial to an adult, that would be critical," Winnipeg police Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith told reporters at the scene.
The 33-year-old female victim, the sister of the woman arrested, is listed in stable condition, reportedly from a stab wound to the chest. She was stabbed while trying to protect the children, a source said.
Sources say the mother was the one who called police just after 5 p.m. Thursday. She allegedly left her apartment and calmly waited in the lobby for police to arrive.
The woman was led to a police car, her hands cuffed behind her back. She was wearing a long yellow dress and appeared to have a white gown covering part of her body.
The woman has no prior criminal record, but was taken to hospital by ambulance on Feb. 19, according to a source. She had given birth just a few weeks earlier and was report­edly suffering from post-partum depression. It's not known how long she was hospitalized or what kind of treatment she received.
The attacks created a chaotic rush-hour scene downtown, with more than a dozen police cars, ambulances and first responders converging outside the Manitoba Housing highrise complex at 355 Kennedy St., between Ellice Avenue and Qu'Appelle Avenue.
The incident occurred one block from Central Park, a neighbourhood that is home to many refugees and immigrants. Sources say the mother is originally from Africa, although it's unknown how long she has been in Canada.
Police told reporters at the scene Thursday the incident is believed to be domestic in nature. Smith con­firmed a female suspect had been arrested but didn't provide further details.
Kennedy Street is often crowded on warm evenings with many of the residents who live in the building and other units in the neighbour­hood. But the street was eerily quiet and deserted Thursday night.
A Winnipeg Police Service identi­fication officer could be seen through the large main-floor windows taking photographs in the building lobby. Several Manitoba Housing security guards were also on scene.
Police are expected to release further details at a news conference Friday morning.

Winnipeg mother charged with stabbing two children
A Winnipeg woman has been charged with three counts of attempted murder after her two young sons — a nine-year-old and a four-month-old — and her sister were stabbed.
The children were taken to hospital in critical condition Thursday with wounds to their upper bodies but have since been upgraded to stable, police said.

The 32-year-old sister of the woman was also stabbed as she tried to intervene, but was treated in hospital and released. The sister's four-month-old daughter was not injured, said Const. Jason Michalyshen.
The nine-year-old boy fled the suite in a downtown housing complex after being injured and notified security at the apartment, who then contacted emergency services, police said.
The 35-year-old mother was arrested shortly after the incident, which happened around 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the housing complex at 355 Kennedy St.
Police had to use a translator to interview the mother, who is originally from Africa, Michalyshen said. Neighbours told CBC News the family had moved to Winnipeg from Somalia four years ago.
The Winnipeg Free Press quotes unnamed sources as saying the mother had recently been suffering from postpartum depression.
The woman has also been charged with assault with a weapon and assault. She is in custody at the Provincial Remand Centre.
The children have been placed in the care of the provincial government's Child and Family Services agency.

Immigrants face challenges

People who work with newcomers say there can be stressful challenges for people who come to Canada.
There can be a sense of isolation for people because of language and cultural differences, said Noelle De Pape, executive director of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba, which offers transitional housing and social services to new Canadians.

While there are many support programs available, people need to be made aware of them and take advantage, she said.
People who have gone through refugee camps may not know how to access help, she added.
"We end up dealing with many issues that are at a crisis point with very expensive front-line services like police and hospital, but we need to focus on prevention and supporting families and their children," De Pape said.
She also noted the location of Thursday's stabbing "is right in the heart of … the newcomer service community, near Central Park."

This woman should be granted bail. She is suffering from depression and is a new immigrant, and prison will likely worsen her condition. I do not believe she is a danger to the public as she has no prior criminal record. 

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