In a 133-page judgement, the B.C. Court of Appeals threw out a civil case ruling that found the Ministry of Children and Family Development showed “reckless disregard” in allowing J.P.’s children to be sexually abused. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

UPDATED: Court dismisses ruling that B.C. failed to protect kids from sexual abuse

Lower Mainland mom had sued province after social workers were found to have failed to protect kids

The B.C. Court of Appeal overturned a ruling Thursday that found the province had failed to protect four Lower Mainland children from sexual abuse by their father.

The children’s mother, who is only known as J.P., was “shocked and completely disappointed” by the decision, according to a statement released by her lawyer, Jack Hittrich. He said he plans to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Back in 2009, J.P. had claimed that the father was abusing her children and wanted to stop him being able to see them. In 2012, a family court judge found that the father had sexually abused three of them.

Despite that, he was still allowed unsupervised visits with his kids while they were in foster care, where he subsequently molested his fourth child, a toddler.

J.P. then sued the Ministry of Children and Family Development, after a civil court judge ruled in 2015 that social workers failed to protect her family.

In a 133-page decision on Thursday, the province’s top court threw out that ruling and ordered a new trial for the father’s allegations.

The appeals judges said the rulings in both trials, family and civil, were influenced by unqualified expert witness testimony.

In the family trial, the mother retained Dr. Claire Reeves, a licensed psychologist described by J.P.’s lawyer as “an expert in the area of child sexual abuse.”

The judges, however, said the universities that Reeves claimed to have received her degrees from were “diploma mills” and thus her testimony was not that of a qualified witness.

The 2015 civil case was based on much of the same evidence and decided by the same judge, so this latest ruling said that was also tainted by Reeve’s testimony.

“(We) want to acknowledge the stress that difficult situations like these can cause to the children, families, social workers and others involved,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy in a statement Thurswday. “Our hope is that this judgment will provide clarity on a number of issues of general importance for child protection practice.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

Oscar Arfmann slated to go to trial in New Westminster in January 2019

Mission to host We’re Your Neighbours immigration forum

Baltej Dhillon will be the guest speaker at the event set for March 17

Victoria-bound passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

Senior randomly stabbed in Abbotsford mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

League’s all-stars hit the ice in Langley

PJHL hosts top junior B players for all-star game

Most Read