CALGARY — A judge who sentenced a man Friday to nine years in prison for killing his young grandson said the injuries he inflicted upon the five-year-old boy were appalling.
Allan Perdomo Lopez, 60, was found guilty of manslaughter last month in the 2015 death of Emilio Perdomo, who court heard was a happy and friendly boy in his home country of Mexico.
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The trial heard that the boy’s mother allowed his grandfather to bring him to Canada for what she believed would be a better life.
Instead, the boy died of a traumatic brain injury five months after his arrival. He had bruises and scars, in various stages of healing, all over his body that weren’t visible in photos of him back in Mexico.
Emilio was taken to a Calgary hospital unconscious on July 9, 2015. He didn’t wake up and died eight days later.
“His condition on admission to hospital was, in a word, appalling,” Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Neufeld said in his sentencing decision.
The Crown had proposed a prison sentence of 12 to 15 years, while the defence said six to eight years would be more appropriate.
Prosecutor Vicki Faulkner told court that Perdomo Lopez deserved a harsh sentence because he was in a position of trust over Emilio, a vulnerable and isolated little boy.
She also said the offender expressed no remorse, except for the consequences to himself, and referred to his grandson as a demon who needed to be cleansed from the house.
The judge disagreed. He said there was “ample” evidence of remorse in a police recording of Perdomo Lopez praying in his minivan.
“You admitted to your God that you killed Emilio, even though you did not mean to do so,” Neufeld told the offender as he stood in the prisoner’s dock.
But the judge said he did not factor remorse into his decision, because Perdomo Lopez chose not to express it at trial.
Defence lawyer Darren Mahoney had urged the judge to focus on a single blow that caused Emilio’s death, because it was not proven in court that his client was solely responsible for the boy’s past abuse.
The offender’s wife, Carolina Perdomo, was accused initially in Emilio’s death. The Crown stayed a manslaughter charge against her earlier this year.
The judge said that even if Perdomo Lopez did not inflict the older injuries, he did nothing to stop them from happening.
“It cannot be doubted that Mr. Perdomo considered himself to be the head of the household,” said Neufeld.
“The historical injuries were obvious for anyone to see, including Mr. Perdomo, who was actively involved in the day-to-day care of his grandson.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2019.