A judge has broken new legal ground by ruling that a man who admitted to slapping and neglecting his frail elderly mother, allowing her to lie in squalor for days, is guilty of manslaughter in her death.
It is believed to be the first time in Canada that elder abuse has been declared an indirect cause of manslaughter.
Donald Noseworthy allowed his 78-year-old mother, Mary, stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, to lie “in filth and squalor and with deplorable hygiene” in the east Toronto bungalow they shared, Superior Court Justice Edward Then said yesterday.
Although his mother lay on her back on her bedroom floor, not eating and hardly drinking in her final four days, he admitted he did not call 911 for fear he would be charged for the slaps and kicks he had inflicted on her during the previous nine months.
“I was just hoping that maybe she – her face would get better and even though it wasn’t and you know I’d, I’d do it again,” he told Toronto police homicide detectives Joel Kulmatycki and Peter Code.
Another police officer testified that Noseworthy admitted he “bitch-slapped her” when she didn’t respond to his questions.
The list of injuries and indignities to Mary Noseworthy is heartbreaking.
As if Alzheimer’s wasn’t a distressing enough way to die, imagine having to go through this kind of abuse at a time when you are most vulnerable.
His lawyer wants time served 36 months (18 months times 2 for pretrial custody)
Though truthfully no amount of time served could restore her dignity nor give her back those years, it doesn’t seem like enough.