FASD & the Justice System

R. v. J.A.R., 2012 BCPC 241 (Giardini J.)

Trial of accused for aggravated assault, assault, failing to provide necessities of life – alleged victim was 4 yo son with developmental issues, including FASD – victim not called; Crown seeking to admit statements made to several people, including foster parents, ER doctor and police – expert (Dr. Loock) called to testify about caution one must use in assessing reliability of statement from child with FASD – necessity not in question, issue with reliability – problems storing and retrieving memory, also issue with relaying it – all persons with FASD are unique, memory deficits vary – children with FASD have challenges in area of memory, executive function and language that make it difficult to describe encounters with other people – cautious approach to reliability – statements do not meet reliability requirements.

See also R. v. J.A.R., 2012 BCPC 347 – sentencing for failing to provide the necessities of life. 6 months jail, 2 years probation