Mother of baby in Kitchener poisoning case not happy with sentence

The mother of one of the four children poisoned by Christine Allen in Kitchener, Ont., says she is not satisfied with the six-year prison sentence handed down by a provincial court.

6 years in prison 'not enough,' mother says

The mother, who cannot be identified because of a court order, says she had been friends with Christine Allen since childhood and considered her part of her family. (Amanda Grant/CBC)

A mother of one of the four children poisoned in Kitchener, Ont., by Christine Allen shared her story on CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's The Morning Edition Tuesday, saying that she was not satisfied with the six-year prison sentence handed down by the court.

“I don’t think it’s right, it’s not enough,” said the mother, who cannot be identified due to a court order.

I can't say, 'Give mommy a hug.' She doesn't understand that.- Mother of child poisoned by Christine Allen 

The mother said it was particularly hard to see Allen in court, because the two had been friends since childhood.

"She was a good family friend. I knew her since we were about four or five," said the mother. 

Allen was even present at the birth of the child she would later poison with tetrahydrozoline, a drug found in over-the-counter eyedrops that can cause serious illness if ingested.

Daughter suffers from developmental delays

The mother says she realized Allen had been the cause of her infant daughter’s illnesses after media reports of Allen’s arrest.

"They listed everything on the news of what the symptoms were, and she basically had every symptom," said Allen.  

Those symptoms included hypothermia, seizures, laboured breathing and irregular heartbeat. The mother says her daughter’s pulse would go alarmingly low.

"I think her lowest was 42, which you’re clinically dead for a baby," said the mother.

She adds her daughter now has significant developmental delays and has trouble understanding certain tasks.

"I can’t say, 'Give mommy a hug.' She doesn’t understand that," said the mother. "Usually you can tell a toddler to go pick up a toy, and you can’t tell her that, she doesn’t get that."

Still looking for answers

The mother says it was difficult to explain the police investigation to her other children, particularly her 11-year-old daughter.

"I had to tell her that [Christine] hurt her family and hurt her sister, and she couldn’t understand why," said the mother.

She says it came to the point where the 11-year-old believed she was responsible for the baby’s sickness.

"Christine was bringing my oldest to the hospital and it would happen while my oldest was there," the mother explained.

The mother says after the whole ordeal, she still wants to know what motivated Allen to take such harmful action against her daughter.

"I will always wonder, she was part of our family, she was like a sister."