Wednesday, February 3, 2010

For Love and For Justice / Part 100 / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

I was in the Chilliwack Court House Tuesday morning, February 2, 2010. When I arrived on the second floor I noticed that Paul and Zabeth and their lawyer Doug Christie were just ahead of me. As we met I was introduced to Mr. Christie whom I have only known through email correspondence. Paul and Zabeth and I gave one another a reunion hug. I remind you that I was the clergyman who officiated at their wedding some years ago.

Another day in the Bayne ordeal began at 9:30 am. As Judge Crabtree entered we all rose as Madame Registrar (scribe) called, “all rise.” Paul and Zabeth sat on the side to the left of the Judge, while MCFD attorney Finn Jensen stood to the right of his honour. Jensen opened the proceedings by calling his first witness for the day. Adrienne Glen, with hand on a Bible took the oath to tell the truth and then identified herself by name and under question stated her relationship to the Bayne case.

Although retired now, she was employed in autumn 2007 as a social worker not for MCFD but for Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. She was a member of the Child Protection Unit of the hospital. During the duration of the time a child at risk spent in the hospital, she consulted with doctors, with the parents, with the MCFD, possibly with RCMP and any other resource people or agencies that were required. She had done her job for 19 years. For 45 minutes Jensen paced her through his series of questions that described her involvement with the baby Bayne girl admitted to the hospital on October 18, 2007. When she learned about the baby’s injuries she notified Dr. Colborne and MCFD to indicate her concern that this child might need protection. She was doing her job as she was expected to do. Following the morning break Doug Christie began his cross examination. He has a deft ability to penetrate inconsistencies and discrepancies in a testimony. Much of the cross examination focused on this witness’ spontaneous hand written and later prepared and printed notes following each contact with the parents and the child during the dates October 19-31, 2007. One of the comments the witness made repeatedly was her perception that Paul and Zabeth had visited their baby in hospital less frequently than 90 percent of other parents in similar situations. This may have been her perception but it was not consistent with nursing reports. Christie persistently probed until the elicited responses indicated that Paul and Zabeth did in fact spend many hours with their baby each day providing what nursing reports said was appropriate attention and behaviour such as feeding and holding this child.

We paused for a 90 minute lunch break. When we resumed Lorne Humeny was the Social Worker giving testimony.
More on this tomorrow. But today Wednesday, February 3, 2010, under oath, Dr. Colborne, the medical professional who diagnosed the baby as a shaken baby victim will give testimony and be cross examined by Mr. Christie.

I am so much better aware now of the strain under which Paul and Zabeth live each of their days. While Zabeth is so competent in the information she accesses for Doug even during the testimony, she sits sometimes when her character is maligned and silently wipes her tears and Paul with his large hand on her back comforts her.

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