Calgary mom frustrated over length of trial in alleged assault on her young daughter


Kevin Martin

The mother of a little Calgary girl allegedly brutally assaulted by her stepdad says the child has been “robbed of the life she was supposed to have.”

The woman, whom Postmedia is not naming to protect her daughter’s identity, says while the girl has recovered significantly from her physical injuries, she will never recover mentally.

“She’s essentially going to be a three-year-old for the rest of her life, mentally,” the woman said Friday.

“She’s not going to grow much more than that.”

The child’s stepfather, Tyler Eugene Laberge, is currently on trial for aggravated assault for the devastating injuries she suffered on March 11, 2018, while under the care of the accused.

While the trial started in August, it will continue next week as defence lawyers Yoav Niv and Matt Deschaye are challenging the admissibility of some of the Crown’s case.

For the mom, the drawn out legal proceeding has been frustrating.

“Honestly, I thought it’d be done by now,” said the mom, who testified for the prosecution in September. “Why hasn’t this been finished with? Why is it still ongoing? I don’t understand.”

She said her then-four-year-old daughter has made significant strides in her physical recovery. The girl was initially confined to a wheelchair, following a near-fatal brain injury which led her to be rushed to Alberta Children’s Hospital in a coma.

“She’s about 85 per cent the same little girl (physically), (but) she has a lot of memory issues,” the mom said. “She has to wear a leg brace for the rest of her life. Essentially the left side of her body, she doesn’t control all that well.”

The mother said her daughter has been moved from a special needs class to a regular school, but the scars of her wounds still run deep.

“It’s essentially torn my family apart,” she said, noting that initially the prognosis was far worse, leading her to a near suicidal depression.

“It was really hard at first; we didn’t know if she was gonna make it for at least a couple of weeks. She slowly started to get better.”

And despite the uphill climb her daughter still faces, the woman vowed to do all she can to be there for her.

“The way I see it, my little girl’s still surviving; she’s doing a lot better than she was. Yes, it’s hard and just difficult, but she’s still my little girl. I will be there for her no matter what.”

It’s the Crown’s position Laberge caused the devastating head injury the toddler suffered, while the accused has said the little girl slipped while bathing as he tended to the newborn he shared with the mom.

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