The aunt and uncle charged in a confinement case involving their nephew made another court appearance Tuesday.
The two appeared well dressed as a Korean interpreter translated what was being said in the courtroom.
A statement of facts read out in court detailed how the boy was found.
Children’s Aid Society (CAS) received an anonymous tip about a 10-year-old girl left unattended at a London residence.
Police were notified and visited the home, but there was no answer at the door. After calling the homeowners they arrived, but were reluctant to let police in because they said the home wasn’t tidy.
Eventually, police were let inside and followed the woman up to the bedroom which was unlocked where a boy in urine-soaked pyjamas emerged. At first, police believed it to be a girl, but they determined that it was a very pale young boy with long hair.
The bedroom had a queen size bed and a child’s bed with urine stained sheets. McDonald’s bags and Tim Horton’s donut boxes littered the floor.
The ensuite had fast food napkins covered in feces throughout and a dirty toilet.
The door to the bedroom could be locked by pulling it from the outside and a key was needed to get out from inside.
Meanwhile, the rest of the house was also in poor condition as the upstairs hallway had dirty pots and dishes. The kitchen had weeks’ worth of dirty dishes; the kitchen floor could not be seen because of trash.
Through police interviews with the aunt, uncle, and boy, it was determined he came to Canada in 2010 with his grandparents after his mother died and father didn’t want to take care of him.
His aunt and uncle operated a variety store until 2012 that he would accompany them to.
However, the store soon went under and the boy’s uncle had to take a delivery driver job.
There had been discussions with his grandparents for him to go back, but the pair say they didn’t have money to buy him a ticket home.
It’s believed he last went outside in 2013.
In an interview with police, the boy said he got used to being in the room alone; he said it was boring and that he was confused, lonely, and sad.
CAS has taken away the boy as well their daughter, though they are on track to getting her back because things are going well.
The pair pleaded guilty back in May and they have been going to counseling as well as a Korean church.
Defence lawyer Damon Hardy said the aunt and uncle are remorseful for their actions.
“The one thing that the public doesn’t see and doesn’t understand is that there were hours and hours of very tearful discussions between both accused and the lawyers and others involved as well,” he said. “I think it’s important that people understand that stuff does happen behind closed doors.”
Hardy said depression, stressors, and an inability to cope “had some significance ultimately in what happened,” though the couple say there is no excuse for their actions.
“The reality and the severity of this case has never been lost on either of them so I don’t think they’re taken by surprise by anything. They’re obviously very, very concerned and I hope it was clear, very remorseful for their involvement in this matter,” said Hardy.