Surrey mom nearly starves son trying to keep her restaurant afloat

The court heard he had been kept in a back storage room in the restaurant for up to 20 hours a day. He is now in foster care.

Surrey mom who nearly starved son to death will find out on June 3 if she's going to jail

SURREY —  A Surrey mother who nearly starved her little boy to death because she was preoccupied with keeping her business afloat will find out in June if she’s going to jail.

Ironically, the scene of the crime was a restaurant the single mother, 25, owned elsewhere in the Lower Mainland. Her name cannot be revealed because there is a publication ban on any information that could identify her son, who was two years old at the time.

The court heard he had been kept in a back storage room in the restaurant for up to 20 hours a day.  He is now in foster care.

His mom pleaded guilty to failing to provide him with the necessities of life.

“I’m sorry for it,” the mother told Judge Melissa Gillespie during the sentencing hearing at Surrey provincial court on Monday. “The experience has been terrible.

“I’m sorry it happened but I will make up for it.”

Gillespie has reserved her decision to June 3rd.

By the time the mother brought her toddler to hospital, Crown prosecutor Colleen Stewart told the Now outside court, “he was near death.”

She hasn’t seen him since.

The court heard that prior to his being brought to hospital the boy was fed not more than 375 calories a day when an average healthy child his age consumes 950 to 1,000.

Asked how that can happen in a restaurant, of all places, Stewart replied that the Crown “brought that to the court’s attention.

“She had the resources to feed him,” Stewart said. “There was food available.”

The Crown argued for a prison term of 18 months to two years less a day followed by two years probation and “strongly” opposes defence lawyer Michael Shapray’s argument for a conditional sentence order, or house arrest, in the 18 to 24 month range.

Shapray argued the Crown is “overemphasizing” the need for general deterrence in this case.

He said his client experienced an “odd upbringing herself” and that a psychologist found the “chaos” in her family compromised her capacity to assume a parenting role herself.

“She didn’t have help,” he said. “She felt alone in raising the child.”

Shapray said the mother was overwhelmed and very distracted by her business. “There was nothing intentional about the infliction of harm in this case.

“She bit off more than she could chew,” he told the court. “She couldn’t handle it.”

“She was very frightened the restaurant was going to fall apart.”

Shapray said his client “fell off the rails” but didn’t intentionally harm her son.

The mother is not in custody. She was released on $5,000 bail.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com.

Just Posted

Hospice to B.C. council race candidate dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

UPDATE: Police seeking witnesses to fatal Surrey hit-and-run

A pedestrian was killed Thursday night in a crash on Highway 10 near 152nd Street

Surrey woman with autism has scooter stolen from SkyTrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

Students lend hand decorating Ocean Park Community Orchard shed

Grade 1-2 classes from Ocean Cliff Elementary at South Surrey garden Friday.

Phase three of ‘King George Hub’ development moves forward

Coast Capital Savings headquarters next to King George SkyTrain was phase one of the project

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Breast density to be included in mammogram results across B.C.

The information is crucial in proactively reducing the risk of breast cancer, doctors say

Canada to boost support for riskier forms of renewable energy: minister

A $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project hopes to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy

B.C. watching Trans Mountain review, George Heyman says

Court decision stalling pipeline ‘validates’ environmental concerns

New concert series focuses on Fraser Valley musicians

Valley Music Co.’s Listen Local Concert Series begins Sept. 28 at High Street mall

Browns beat streak, win first NFL game in 635 days

Baker Mayfield erased any doubts about why the Browns selected him with the No. 1 overall pick

New silver collector coin features Indigenous dancer

New silver collectors coin captures fast-paced energy of an Indigenous powwow

Off Nova Scotia, a bid to ‘unravel the mystery’ of great white sharks

The question: Is Nova Scotia the second mating site for Atlantic white sharks, something scientists say could be key to protecting the endangered species.

Most Read