Shakeil Boothe’s mother told a court today that she has been haunted by the image of her son suffering in the Brampton home where he died nearly three years ago.
The 10-year-old had been living with his father and stepmother, both of whom have been convicted of second-degree murder in his death. They will be sentenced next month.
Before his death, Shakeil had been chained to a bed, beaten with a belt and starved over a period of months.
The slain boy’s surviving mother, Kenesha McCree, lives in the United States.
But she was in a Brampton courtroom on Monday, telling the judge about what she has been going through and the pain she is living with, knowing what happened to her son.
"I am no longer concerned about my health, when I remember that my son was ignored and his tiny, non-fed body was left to suffer with pneumonia and chained like an animal," McCree said.
Outside court, McCree said she will have more to say once Garfield Boothe and Nichelle Boothe-Rowe — the convicted father and stepmother — are sentenced in June.
"All I need is justice for Shakeil,"she said.
The Crown has called Shakeil’s death a cruel and heinous killing.
While the boy’s father and stepmother each face life sentences in connection with their conviction, the judge will be deciding how soon they are eligible for parole.
The Crown is asking that Shakeil’s father not be eligible for parole for 22 years, while asking for his stepmother not to be eligible for parole for 15 years.
Nichelle Boothe-Rowe, the Crown has said, had every opportunity to help the boy, but didn’t.
"He looked up to me and I betrayed him ... I'm very sorry for not protecting him like I should have," said Boothe-Rowe. "Many times I wish I could have traded places with Shakeil, but I can't."
Boothe-Rowe tearfully addressed Shakeil's mother and family, directly apologizing. The boy’s stepmother said she did not expect their forgiveness.
Click on the video above to see a full report from the CBC’s Michelle Cheung.