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.

Just Posted

Heritage Surrey launches time-lapse mapping tool

It matches local historical images to modern-day locations

UPDATE: Delta man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help finding missing 52-year-old

Police say William Michaels last seen on Feb. 19

Private school for hockey players pitched for Surrey’s Excellent Ice arena

Lark Group draws up expansion plan for facility built and operated by the Surrey company since 1999

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Most Read