The father who abandoned his infant daughter in the freezing stairwell of a parking garage last year has been set free by a Toronto court after it was ruled he has already served his sentence awaiting trial.
The parents who abandoned the little girl, who became known as baby Angelica Leslie, in a parking garage stairwell at Leslie Street and Finch Avenue in January 2008 when she was about 11 months old were both sentenced on Thursday.
According to court documents, the father pleaded guilty to leaving his daughter in –14 C degree weather. He was charged with abandoning a child under the age of 10 and thereby endangering its life. He was also charged with failing to provide the necessities of life to his other three children.
The couple had previously denied that the baby was theirs despite DNA evidence. But the father told the court on Thursday that the baby was his and that he took the baby to the parking stairwell.
The judge sentenced him to 22 months in jail, but he had already served 11 months awaiting trial and was given two-for-one credit and allowed to go free having served his sentence. He will be on probation for two years.
The mother had pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of not providing proper care to her other children under the Family Services and Child Protection Act. She was fined $300 and released.
The other children are no longer in the custody of the couple.
The parents, who were both 30 years old at the time they abandoned their baby, were arrested in May in Kitchener, west of Toronto.
Police said the couple lived in north Toronto in January 2008, when the baby was found in the parking garage stairwell of a shopping plaza.
It's believed the brown-eyed girl was face down on the freezing concrete for about two hours before being discovered by a passerby. She had minor cuts and bruises on her face but quickly recovered.
Her discovery prompted a worldwide search by police to find her parents. Police released security video of a green car seen in the parking lot and put out video information on YouTube and Facebook asking for the public's help.
It took five months to track down the parents at their new home in Kitchener.
Angelica Leslie has since been adopted.
The parents and the baby's real name cannot be used due to a court-ordered publication ban.