The mother of the third girl to be sentenced for the savage beating of Kathie Lee Bennet behind a Dartmouth school last year told a court she’d do anything to keep her daughter out of trouble again.
“I need something that they can show me how to deal with her,” she told Halifax youth court Judge Pam Williams at a sentencing hearing yesterday, as both she and her 15-year-old daughter cried.
The mother admitted she had struggled with drugs in the past and had been convicted of shoplifting.
She said she needs help so that she can help her daughter, who has pleaded guilty to her role in the vicious attack. Neither can be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Brittany McNeil, 18, was sentenced in March to six years in jail for leading the attack. A second teenage girl got a two-year youth sentence last month.
Asked if she’d like to see her 15-year-old freed this week, her mother paused before saying, “I think that (social services) should be in place before she comes home,” she said, adding she hopes her daughter will be free and back in school by fall.
Crown prosecutor John Nisbet withdrew his bid to have the teen sentenced as an adult.
Expert witness Jessica Ius, a psychologist at the IWK, said the girl was “motivated” in her therapy and posed a moderate risk to re-offend. Ius singled out the role of the mother as critical to ensuring the girl gets her life on track when she leaves Waterville youth jail, where she has been for eight months.
Williams will sentence the teen this morning.