Man gets a year in brutal child beating case
A Toronto man has been sentenced to one year in jail in connection with the brutal attack of a six-year-old boy that left the child near-death on a Scarborough TTC bus.
Cedric Shawn Wilson's jail term was in addition to 21 months he has already served behind bars. Wilson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, but contends he only helped conceal the boy's injuries and didn't inflict the wounds.
The boy, the son of Wilson's ex-girlfriend, has been left paralyzed on the right side of his body following a hospital-induced coma.
The child has learned to walk again, but still limps due to brain damage suffered from the severe beating nearly two years ago. His forehead had also been burned.
Police and child aid workers described the abuse as one most horrific they had ever seen.
The six-year-old was suffering from the wounds before he boarded a TTC bus with his mother on May 20, 2005. The bus driver noticed the injuries, pulled over and called police.
Wilson fled before officers arrived, sparking a Canada-wide search. He was arrested in a downtown gunpoint takedown two weeks later.
The judge's sentence was part of a pre-arranged plea bargain, as prosecutors said they had a difficult time proving who had actually pummeled the boy.
The child's mother, Cindy Strickland, received a house-arrest term of 14 months last year for failing to provide the necessities of life. That was on top of six months she served in custody awaiting trial.
Strickland attended court on Thursday to watch Wilson receive his sentence. She admits she will probably never see her son again as he has been seized by child welfare authorities.
"I'd rather not talk about it, I've moved on," she told CTV News.
Wilson has been in court on unrelated matters recently. He was found not guilty of beating jail guards and last week was acquitted of confining and raping another ex-girlfriend.
Defence lawyer Eric Lewis said Thursday's jail sentence was fair because it was Strickland who beat her son.
Strickland denied ever harming her little boy.
"I never touched my son," she said.
With a report from CTV's John Lancaster