A man and woman from southern Alberta's Blood Tribe who pleaded guilty to neglecting their daughter's health for so long that she nearly died have been taken back into custody.

The mother and father, who are not being identified to protect the identity of their daughter, also had their sentencing delayed again after a hearing Monday in a Lethbridge, Alta., courtroom.

Their sentencing had already been delayed after a hearing last March in which the court decided to put the matter off for six months while the couple took part in counselling sessions and healing ceremonies.

But the pair stopped attending those sessions in May, court heard on Monday.

A judge expressed frustration at the situation and ordered that both parents be returned to custody pending their next court date on Oct. 23.

Case history

The couple has been in and out of court for the past several years after being charged in 2013 and pleading guilty in 2016 to failing to provide the necessaries of life to their daughter.

The girl was admitted to hospital at age 9 with severe abscesses on her face, an obstructed airway and a serious blood infection.

She was battling septic shock and was rushed to the Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary with her jaw bone visible through the skin on both sides of her mouth.

She needed to be intubated for seven days in order to breathe properly and underwent weeks of treatment, including for pancreatitis that developed as a result of the sepsis.

She has since recovered and has been placed in a kinship home but is expected to require further surgeries and treatment as she gets older.

Although unusual in everyday language, the plural noun "necessaries" — not "necessities" — is the term the legal system uses.

With files from Colleen Underwood