Parents jailed for 25 years after son with type 1 diabetes starved to death
The parents of a 15-year-old boy with type 1 diabetes who starved to death over a number of years have been found guilty of murder.
Emil and Rodica Radita, from Calgary, Canada, have been sentenced to 25 years’ life in prison, with no parole. They were said to be devoid of emotion following the sentencing.
The judge, Justice Karen Horner, stated that both parents were equally guilty of the murder of Alexandru Radita, who died in 2013.
“Mr. and Mrs. Radita intended to and did isolate Alex from anyone who could intervene or monitor his insulin treatment aside from themselves,” said Justice Horner.
“The evidence underscores that the Raditas were well aware how ill Alex was and still refused to treat his medical condition with proper insulin protocol and medical care.”
Alexandru weighed just 17 kg (13 pounds) when he died. His body was described as looking “mummified” by Deborah Baumback, the paramedic who was called to the scene.
A pediatrician who had treated Alexandru told the court that that his mother didn’t believe he had type 1 diabetes, and that “she and God” were going to prove that the doctors were wrong.
He was hospitalised multiple times during his childhood, and put into foster care in 2003 which saw his health begin to improve.
But one year later Alexandru returned to his parents. The family moved to Alberta shortly after, and he was kept in his room away from people. Instead of going to school, he was enrolled in an online school program for a year.
He didn’t a see a doctor once in Alberta. The trial heard it was because of the parents’ religious beliefs that they didn’t think Alexandru needed to see doctors.
The cause of death was recorded as “bacterial sepsis brought on by extreme starvation”.
Crown prosecutor Susan Pepper said: “This was a really difficult case for all involved. The facts that Justice Horner found were such that you really did see the magnitude of Alex’s suffering, how long it was and how extensive it was.
“Certainly, the evidence that was presented in court does show that the system and the social safety net in our province, and in our country, did fail Alex.”
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