A Bangladeshi woman originally facing two charges of manslaughter in the death of her infant daughter pleaded guilty to a lesser charge yesterday.
Jane Gomes, 23, entered the guilty plea for failing to provide the necessities of life for her daughter, Aurora Breakthrough, who died last summer.
The two manslaughter charges Gomes was facing were also withdrawn. Denise Smith of the Crown said the charges didn’t reflect Gomes’ role in her child’s death.
“The Crown feels (the lesser offence) is reflective of Ms. Gomes’ level of culpability with respect to this matter,” Smith said outside a Halifax provincial courtroom.
Smith said Gomes will be subpoenaed to testify against her former partner, Ashiqur Rahman. Rahman is facing manslaughter charges in causing the death of the infant.
The daughter of the common-law couple, who lived above the Good Food Emporium on Gottingen Street, was taken to the IWK Health Centre on July 24 with serious injuries.
Rahman and Gomes were arrested on July 25 and initially charged with aggravated assault. Their daughter died three days later, and the charges were eventually upgraded to manslaughter.
Gomes, who has spent the last nine months in jail awaiting trial, was released on conditions pending her sentencing on May 26. Neither Smith nor defence lawyer Peter Mancini would comment on possible sentences.
“I think it’s fair to say the Crown and I have had discussions,” Mancini said. “(But) I’m not really prepared to put that on the record at this point where we’re going with that. These things are always subject to further negotiations.”
Mancini did say, however, the charge Gomes pleaded guilty to has a range of possible sentences, from an absolute discharge to up to five years in jail.
After entering a guilty plea, Jane Gomes was released on several conditions. Judge Jamie Campbell ordered Gomes to surrender her passport and remain in the country, and to abstain from any contact with her former partner, Ashiqur Rahman, unless mediated through lawyers. Gomes will stay in a home in Wolfville until her sentencing May 26.