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Toronto criminal lawyer Tyler Smith is pleased with the outcome of a court appearance Tuesday where his client Sabrina Siconolfi pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing the death of her two-year-old daughter in 2010.
Smith, partner with Hicks Adams LLP, says there was a “significant jeopardy” of Siconolfi being convicted of manslaughter – a more serious offence.
“Through negotiations and exchange of expert reports the Crown took the plea to a lesser offence of criminal negligence causing death,” Smith says. “Obviously she’s admitted that her actions resulted in the death of the child which is still very serious.”
Smith says the moral blameworthiness attached to criminal negligence is much less than with manslaughter.
“I advised her that we should resolve it because she took a significant risk of getting convicted with manslaughter, meaning the sentence would be more serious too.”
Siconolfi called 911 on the morning of July 9, 2010, and said her toddler, Sakina Abdurahman, wasn’t breathing, according to the agreed statement of facts read in court by Crown lawyer Jason Gorda, the Toronto Star reports. Read Toronto Star
When police and other emergency personnel arrived, they found the mother beside her dead daughter on the floor, Gorda said, adding Siconolfi’s one-year-old son was also there, the Star reports.
A post mortem found she died “of heatstroke from exposure to a hot environment in the context of multiple inflicted injuries,” the Star reports.
“What will come out when we do the sentencing is this is a really tragic case of both domestic and child assault,” Smith says. “It’s key to remember that the primary cause of death was heatstroke and the contributing cause was the injuries. That says the injuries alone would not have killed her.”
Siconolfi, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 14, has no criminal record, Smith says.
“We’re looking forward to getting all the reports and continuing to the sentencing hearing.”