Newspaper article The Canadian Press

No Concerns about Couple Who Starved Boy to Death: Case Worker Tells Inquest

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

No Concerns about Couple Who Starved Boy to Death: Case Worker Tells Inquest

Article excerpt

No concerns about grandparents: inquest told

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TORONTO - A children's aid worker handling the case of a Toronto boy who died of starvation in his grandparents' care said there were no concerns about the couple that would have prompted her to search their records.

Margarita Quintana of the Catholic Children's Aid Society told the inquest into Jeffrey Baldwin's death Wednesday that grandmother Elva Bottineau seemed "highly concerned" about the well-being of her grandchildren.

"We didn't check records during that time unless we had protection concerns for the person," she said.

The inquest has heard that both Bottineau and her partner Norman Kidman had a history of child abuse, including separate convictions and various dealings with the children's aid society.

But when the society was looking at placing Jeffrey and his siblings in their care, the inquest has heard the workers didn't look through their own files to see what might be lurking in the grandparents' past.

While testifying in a soft, halting voice on Wednesday, Quintana described Kidman as "supportive" and told the inquest Bottineau had been "helpful" and "positive" while the family was dealing with children's aid services.

"She was always very assertive in defining their needs," Quintana said of Bottineau's attitude towards the grandchildren.

Bottineau and Kidman are currently serving life sentences for second-degree murder in Jeffrey's death 11 years ago.

When he died, five-year-old Jeffrey was 21 pounds, about what he weighed when he was first sent to his grandparents four years earlier.

The inquest has heard that Bottineau and Kidman would keep Jeffrey and one of his sisters locked for long stretches of time in their room, where they were left to urinate and defecate, then forced to clean up their own mess.

Quintana's testimony on Wednesday focused largely on her early interactions with Jeffrey's family, before he was born. …

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