skpic provincial court regina

(CBC)

Two women who pleaded guilty in October to the sexual and physical abuse of two young girls have dismissed their lawyers, saying they want to plead not guilty instead.

The pair, a mother and daughter aged 56 and 38, can not be named in order to protect the identities of the victims.

The women were in provincial court in Regina Thursday for what was intended to be a sentencing hearing. Instead, their lawyers told the court they needed to withdraw as the women want new lawyers to expunge their guilty pleas.

The two were charged in January with 44 criminal code counts relating to sexual and physical abuse of two young girls, aged 10 and 11 at the time. The women were arrested at a residence near Regina's downtown core.

In October, the women entered guilty pleas to sexual assault, making child pornography, and physical assault. The court heard that one child had been assaulted with a frying pan, a hammer and an extension cord.

On Thursday, after the judge on the case allowed the lawyers to withdraw, the women were given one month to find new lawyers.

It was not immediately clear how the case would proceed next as the two women told the judge they did not have the means to hire new lawyers.