British Columbia

Charges filed against daycare operator in death of Baby Mac

The operator of the daycare where the child known as Baby Mac died in 2017 has been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Woman charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life in 16-month-old's death in 2017

Macallan Wayne Saini — also known as Baby Mac — died at an unlicensed East Vancouver daycare in 2017. The operator of the daycare has been charged with failing to provide the necessities of life. (Shelly Sheppard)

The operator of the daycare where the child known as Baby Mac died in 2017 has been charged in connection with the infant's death.

According to Vancouver police, Susy Yasmine Saad appeared in court Wednesday to face two counts of failing to provide the necessaries of life and one count of fraud over $5,000.

Macallan Wayne Saini was 16 months old when he died at Saad's unlicensed and unregistered daycare in East Vancouver on Jan. 18, 2017.

Saad has been released on conditions and will make her next appearance in September.

"The details of this file are just gut wrenching," Vancouver Police Department Const. Tania Visintin said in a statement.

"As nothing can take away the pain of losing a child, we hope the family can find some closure knowing that charges have been laid."

'Shocking and horrifying'

The charges follow a lengthy police investigation and a lawsuit filed by Macallan's mother, Shelley Sheppard, against Saad and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).

According to the lawsuit, the toddler, known as Baby Mac, was believed to have died after he was left unattended at Saad's Olive Branch Daycare and choked on an electrical cord.

Sixteen-month-old Macallan Wayne Saini, seen here with his parents Shelley Sheppard and Chris Saini, died on Jan. 18, 2017, at a daycare in East Vancouver. (John Sheppard)

Sheppard described showing up at the daycare to find a fire truck in front of the house, which she claimed was "overcrowded" with children. She said she witnessed her son lying on the floor with a "grey pallor."

"It was evident that he was deceased," the civil claim says. "Seeing his lifeless body was shocking and horrifying."

The lawsuit claims VCH investigated the daycare multiple times between 2010 and 2016, declaring it as a "moderate risk to health and safety" in January 2016.

Operator denied claims

In a response to the lawsuit filed last summer, Saad denied all the allegations.

"The death was a tragedy but not the result of any negligence," the response claims.

"[Saad] was not negligent and the death was not the result of any negligence by [Saad]."

Under B.C.'s Community Care and Assisted Living Act, unlicensed child-care operators are only allowed to care for two children at a time and can be fined up to $10,000 a day for violations.

The daycare closed after Baby Mac's death.

About the Author

Jason Proctor

@proctor_jason

Jason Proctor is a reporter in British Columbia for CBC News and has covered the B.C. courts and mental health issues in the justice system extensively.

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