Toronto Star

February 21, 1999

Baby's mother released on bail after night in jail

Charged with tampering with son's feeding

Toronto Star

A 27-year-old woman has been released on $2,000 bail after a night in jail on charges she tampered with her baby's feeding formula at the Hospital For Sick Children.

The name of the woman, who is a registered nurse in her hometown in eastern Ontario, is being withheld to protect the infant's identity.

Police say the woman was charged with criminal negligence and failing to provide the necessities of life after a video surveillance camera recorded a woman diluting an intravenous feeding solution connected to her 5-month-old son.

The hospital would not comment on the use of video cameras in patients' rooms, said Cyndy De Giusti, chief of public affairs at the hospital.

The young mother clasped her hands and stared at the floor of the prisoner's box as crown counsel Paul Normandeau told justice of the peace Robert Lewin of the allegations yesterday in old city hall provincial court.

Lewin ordered a ban on publication of evidence.

He also ordered the woman to stay away from her home and from the Hospital For Sick Children. He said she must have no contact with her infant son or 2-year-old daughter.

Lewin said the woman must live with her maternal grandfather and seek whatever medical treatment is suggested by family members, who put up her bail.

Family members in the courtroom declined to be interviewed by The Star.

Police said the hidden camera surveillance was ordered after the malnourished infant didn't gain weight despite intravenous feeding. The baby was admitted to hospital last month after "failing to thrive," police said.

The mother was ordered to return to court again March 4 to set a date for trial.

The baby remains in hospital under the protection of the Children's Aid Society.

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