WINNIPEG — Crown prosecutors are appealing the sentence of a man who left his 89−year−old mother on the floor of their home for several weeks until she died.
Ronald Siwicki, 66, was sentenced in July to three months in jail for criminal negligence causing the death of his mother Elizabeth. One month was deducted as credit for the time he spent in custody before the trial.
Elizabeth Siwicki fell out of bed at their Winnipeg home in November 2014 and, when she was unable to get up, she was left on the floor for more than three weeks. An autopsy found she suffered bed sores so severe, they went down to her bones and were the cause of her death.
In a notice of appeal filed earlier this month, Crown prosecutors said Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Colleen Suche erred in her assessment of aggravating and mitigating factors and handed down an unfit sentence.
Defence attorney Mike Cook said he was surprised by the appeal.
"Justice Suche pronounced a very well−crafted sentence taking into consideration every conceivable principle of sentencing from the Criminal Code and the jurisprudence," Cook said in an emailed statement.
"She made no error in her decision."
The Crown had asked for a 35−month sentence, while Cook wanted a suspended sentence with probation.
During sentencing, the judge cited a psychiatric evaluation and pre−sentence report that said Siwicki has taken responsibility for what happened and is a low risk to reoffend. He also has no previous criminal record.
"Vulnerable people of our society ... are owed the greatest duty of care by those who look after them," Suche said.
Court previously heard how Siwicki had promised his mother, who was suffering from dementia, that she could die at home, but he was not equipped to deal with her declining health.
After she fell out of bed, Siwicki gave his mother nutritional drinks and water. But as the weeks went by, he never called for help.
Siwicki called an ambulance after his mother’s death, court heard, but by then there was so much human waste around her that the carpet underneath her had buckled.
No date for the appeal hearing has been set.
Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press