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The children’s aunt was found guilty Tuesday of assault related to hitting the two eldest girls with wooden spoons and other objects, as well as to pulling their lips and pinching their tongues. Their uncle was acquitted of all assault and criminal negligence charges.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sandy Park said he did not accept a raft of other disturbing allegations levelled against the pair, including that the children were forced to eat their own vomit, had to wear soiled diapers and had their tongues pierced with needles and burned with barbecue lighters.
“I find that her anger and dislike has now morphed into a vindictive attitude which is reflected in an exaggeration in her testimony,” he said as he delivered his verdict.
Park found the woman guilty of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm against the two older girls.
Because there were multiple related offences, she will only be sentenced on the more serious ones — two of assault with a weapon — at a hearing scheduled for next week.
The judge found none of the allegations related to the youngest of the trio, the couple’s nephew, warranted a conviction. He said the boy’s evidence was unreliable.
The judge described the assault committed by the aunt as a misguided attempt at corporal punishment, and noted similar disciplinary measures were widespread in the 1950s and 1960s.
The couple’s defence counsel declined to comment after the verdict.
Prosecutor Ken McCaffrey said the siblings stand by everything they said in court.
“But obviously the eldest child is quite upset that not everything she said was believed, understandably.”