February 22nd, 2020

Mother saw bruises on daughter’s back before death, Calgary murder trial hears

By The Canadian Press on February 12, 2020.

CALGARY – The trial of a Calgary man accused of killing his young daughter has heard the girl’s mother saw bruises on her back in the week before her death.

Oluwatosin Oluwafemi, 44, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of four-year-old Rebekah in December 2014.

His wife and Rebekah’s mother, Olabusona Oluwafemi, testified that she saw bruises on the girl’s upper back while giving her a morning shower, but couldn’t recall her complaining about them.

The trial heard the father was looking after Rebekah alone during the day because he had lost his job months earlier.

The mother testified that she and her husband would discipline their daughter, and that she would sometimes pull her ears, hit her on the palm with a flip-flop, smack her with her hands or yell.

She told court she never saw her husband discipline Rebekah, but knew it was happening based on conversations and shouting she overheard.

The mother described being hysterical when her husband called her at work the day Rebekah died saying that the child wasn’t feeling well. She said she left work within about 10 minutes and it can take up to 35 minutes to get home in heavy traffic.

A family friend who was at the Oluwafemi home the day of Rebekah’s death testified earlier that she didn’t suspect abuse in the home and, as a nurse, she would have had to report it if she did.

The Crown said in its opening statement that Oluwatosin Oluwafemi was the only person who could have inflicted the fatal injuries to Rebekah’s spine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 12, 2020

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