Teen accused of attempted murder of a child to have bail hearing March 1

A teenager accused of attempting to murder a two-year-old girl in Saint John is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, when a date for a bail hearing will be set.

19-year-old allegedly tried to suffocate 2-year-old girl, according to court documents

A teenager accused of attempting to murder a two-year-old girl in Saint John was given a March 1 date for a bail hearing during a court appearance Thursday.

Madison (Carson) Bennett, 19, wearing a red hoodie, arrived in provincial court from remand.

Defence lawyer Brian Ferguson said he had only received disclosure from the Crown earlier in the day.

He asked that a bail hearing be held March 1, and Judge Kelly Winchester agreed. 

Found fit for trial

Bennett underwent a psychiatric assessment earlier and was found fit to go on trial.

Bennett, who is transgender, identifies as male and has asked to be addressed as such, according to the assessment report dated Jan. 29 by Dr. Khurshid Haque at the Restigouche Hospital Centre.

According to the report, which is part of the court file, Bennett admitted to trying to suffocate the child and said he was experiencing visual hallucinations at the time.

The name of the complainant cannot be published by court order.

Says he tried resuscitation

Bennett said during the psychiatraic assessment that the child was the product of a rape, and he was thinking about the father, whom Bennett hated, when he tried to suffocate the toddler, the report said.

Bennett said he tried to resuscitate the child after she became unconscious.

The police got involved after neighbours complained, Haque wrote.

"According to the collateral information, the caretaker of the apartment building received numerous complaints from the neighbours that the resident[s] of [the] apartment … were noisy and that they heard them yelling, screaming and hollering on November 8, 2017," he wrote.

Caretaker noticed bruises

The report says a caretaker went to the property to speak with the tenant and noticed a young child with bruising all over her face and hands.

The caretaker then contacted the police, suspecting the child had been the victim of abuse.

When police got to the apartment, the mother of the child and Bennett said the injuries were caused by falling from a high chair and falling in the bathtub, the report said.

The police then contacted the Department of Social Development and the child was taken to the emergency room at the Saint John Regional Hospital, Haque wrote.

"Child protection services took custody of the child at this time," he said.  

He also reported that the child was transferred to a foster home after receiving medical attention.

"Bennett has been charged for attempted murder by suffocating her ex-girlfriend's two-year-old daughter," Haque wrote.

History of drug abuse 

Bennett said he was using illicit drugs at the time of the incident, the report said.

He has a history of drug abuse from the age of 10. The drugs include methamphetamine, Dilaudid, Percocet, cocaine and LSD.

The report said Bennett was "recently" admitted to hospital because of amphetamine psychosis.

Haque concluded Bennett is fit to stand trial and said the assessment found no mental disorder that would exempt him from criminal responsibility.

"In my opinion, Ms. Madison Bennett is criminally responsible," he wrote in the report, which used female pronouns throughout.