A woman’s appeal of her 15-month jail sentence, for viciously assaulting her 86-year-old mother suffering from dementia, was tossed out by a B.C. Supreme Court judge. (Tom Zytaruk photo)

Appeal denied in ‘vicious’ attack on 86-year-old B.C. mom with dementia

Monique Van Donselaar sentenced to 15 months after pushing her mother during a heated argument

A woman’s appeal of her 15-month jail sentence for assaulting her 86-year-old mother suffering from dementia was tossed out by a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

According to the ruling, posted online Wednesday, Monique Van Donselaar was charged with assault and uttering threats, to which she pleaded guilty and was sentenced on May 9. A three-year probation sentence was tacked on to her custodial sentence.

On March 11, Donselaar pushed her mother during a heated argument, stating she was provoked. Photographs show severe bruising on her mother’s face, especially both eyes and the right jaw area, along with bruises on the left upper and lower arm, the right chest and the left knee with a large laceration on the knee as well.

READ ALSO: Woman gets two years’ probation after having sex with 13-year-old boy

In a victim impact statement written by the mother, she states her daughter was disowned and that she is fearful each night living alone. Property damage in the apartment was estimated by the mother to be $1,000.

At the time of sentencing, Donselaar told the courts she was visiting Victoria from Edmonton, where she lives, and was not aware of the degree of her mother’s dementia, adding that “[her mother] was like very, very, very hostile,” towards her. Donselaar also stated she has “no problem having no contact” with her mother and she was really sorry.

Donselaar asked the sentencing judge to go easy on her, saying “maybe I can have, like, even an anklet,” and that she wanted to be home for her daughter’s graduation on May 29.

READ ALSO: Appeals court sides with Washington State city in ‘bikini baristas’ case

The sentencing judge stated this was an extreme case of elder abuse, calling into question why the accused didn’t go for help at the time of the offence and the amount of blame placed on the victim by Donselaar.

“This is a considerable level of violence against an 86-year-old woman,” stated the sentencing judge, adding it was troubling that Donselaar wanted to use her daughter’s graduation “as some sort of ‘get out of jail free’ card,” rather than taking responsibility for her conduct.

The Court of Appeals judge noted the courts should only intervene when a sentence imposed at trial is demonstrably unfit or clearly unreasonable. Donselaar believed the sentencing judge erred when he concluded the injuries to her mother were caused by something more than a push and that it was a vicious attack.

The judge found a 15-month sentence was not demonstrably unfit and the appeal was dismissed.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii COVID cases climb to 24 over B.C. Day long weekend

10 cases active, 14 cases now recovered; 23 people also isolating as a result of contact tracing

Boon Docs comics illustrate Haida Gwaii health staff ‘Behind the Mask’

Family doctor and cartoonist Caroline Shooner shares inspiration for new comic series

Two Kwuna sailings cancelled on B.C. Day

BC Ferries making schedule adjustments on Aug. 3 to facilitate charter flight

Fishing lodge ‘shocked’ by B.C. ban on non-resident travel to Haida Gwaii

West Coast Fishing Club ‘shocked and stunned’ by travel restriction put in place July 30

Province restricts non-resident travel to Haida Gwaii amid COVID outbreak

Provincial staff will help enforce travel restrictions from islands, mainland

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read