Jeffrey Baldwin's grandparents have already been tried, convicted, sentenced and had their appeals rejected, Postmedia News reported. Under Canadian law, those steps had to be completed first.
Dr. Peter Clark, the coroner, told the jury the purpose of the inquest is to focus community attention on deaths that might have been prevented and to ensure "that the death of no one of its members is overlooked, concealed or ignored."
Jill Witkin, the counsel to the coroner, said the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto placed Jeffrey and his siblings with Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman without doing background checks on the couple that would have shown a history of child abuse. She said the agency made a separate decision on each child to place them with their maternal grandparents but never did any follow-up.
Marc Dugas, one of those who responded when Jeffrey died in 2002, described seeing the body of a boy who was almost 6 and weighed just over 20 pounds. He said the boy's skin was covered with bruises and sores, his arms and legs down to skin and bone.
"It was the complete and utter destruction of dignity to any child, or human being, in my opinion," Dugas said.
Bottineau and Kidman were both convicted in 2006 of second-degree murder. She was sentenced to 22 years while her husband got 20 years.
Prosecutors said Jeffrey was locked in an unheated room and starved. What food he got was placed in a bowl on the floor.
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