The mother of a Calgary girl allegedly murdered by her father candidly admitted Wednesday she routinely “smacked” the child to discipline her.
Olubusola (Itunu) Oluwafemi said Rebekah had multiple bruises on her body before she left for work the morning of Dec. 19, 2014, leaving the girl home alone with her father.
Appearing nonchalant on the witness stand as she testified for the Crown in her husband’s second-degree murder trial, the mother said she had no concerns about her daughter that morning.
Prosecutor Melissa Bond asked the mom if she inquired of her four-year-old daughter about bruises on her back and other parts of her body that morning.
“Did you have any concerns about Rebekah and how she was doing on the morning of the 19th?” Bond asked.
“No,” the witness said, leaning on her left arm as it rested on a video screen attached to the witness box.
“I can’t remember if I asked her (how she felt).”
Oluwafemi said she took photos of the bruising, with a plan to take her daughter to a walk-in clinic the next day, a Saturday, if it appeared worse.
Oluwatosin Oluwafemi is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his daughter, who was rushed to a hospital that afternoon, unconscious and without a pulse.
Her cause of death was listed as blunt-trauma injury.
The mother told Bond she didn’t have any concern about her daughter that day, paying little attention to her as she left for work.
“She eats on her own every time,” the mother said.
“She eats, she doesn’t eat, her daddy’s home.”
The witness said she would discipline her daughter by slapping her hands with her flip-flops, twisting or pulling her ears, or by smacking the girl with her hand.
Bond asked how hard the mom would strike the daughter’s hands with her flip-flops.
“It just depends . . . how mad I am,” she said.
Bond then asked about twisting the girl’s ears.
“It depends on what she’s done,” she said.
“Do you recall ever leaving marks on her ears?” Bond asked.
“No, I don’t recall.”
The prosecutor asked the woman where on her daughter’s body she would smack her with her hands.
“It depends on how close she is to me,” the witness said.
She said she never saw the accused strike the girl, but she had heard him verbally discipline the child.
Her testimony resumes Thursday morning.
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