Wednesday, February 10, 2010

For Love and For Justice / Part 107 / Zabeth and Paul Bayne


Testimony Phase - Graduating with a Bachelor in Social Work, Loren Humeny has been a social worker for ten years and is presently an Intake Investigative Social Worker for the Ministry of Children and Family Development based out of Chilliwack. The Bayne file was his responsibility in collaboration with his supervisor, so he was the author of the report presented to Court. Mr. Humeny was in court to give testimony one week ago on February 2, 2010. At the end of that Tuesday, the cross examination by Bayne lawyer Doug Christie was postponed until Tuesday, February 09, 2010, in order to accommodate the testimonies of Dr. Colbourne and Dr. Randall Alexander both of which took place last week. Yesterday, Tuesday February 9, 2010, Mr. Humeny was back in the witness box for the cross examination portion.

According to Mr. Humeny’s testimony, the child protection unit of VCH (possibly Ms. Glen and/or Dr. Colbourne) alerted his office concerning the injuries to Bethany Bayne in the autumn of 2007. His investigative process included reports by and/ or conversations with Dr. Colbourne; and Vancouver Children’s Hospital social worker, Adrienne Glen, who was a member of the child protection unit; and Pastor Michael Hoffman* and his wife Elizabeth; as well as members of the Bayne extended family and Zabeth and Paul. His primary information sources were Dr. Colbourne and Ms. Glen and he told the court Dr. Colbourne’s opinions, treatment and prognosis. In a meeting on October 31, 2007 Humeny and his supervisor met with Paul and Zabeth, Zabeth’s parents, Zabeth’s sister and her husband and Ruth Hunt (friend) to review what he termed non-accidental injuries based on the medical report. Humeny was assigned to author the application for the Court Order as well as the narrative that supported the application.

He was in attendance together with his supervisor when apprehending the three children initially. Bethany was in hospital from the 19th to the 25th of October 2007 and on October 25, 2007 Bethany was placed in a Chilliwack foster home. No visits to Bethany were allowed to the Baynes during those initial weeks. He spent time with Zabeth Bayne’s parents prior to leaving the boys there with the stipulation that Paul and Zabeth could not be alone with the children in that home. He had numerous conversations with Zabeth during these days and weeks. He looked into sources of ‘collateral’ information about the Baynes. In looking for potential foster/ care homes for the boys should the need arise, Marvin (Surrey Council member) and Ruth Hunt offered their home in August 2008. They are Bayne family friends.

Testimony under Cross Examination – There was discussion about the Risk Assessment of which he is the author. It includes statements against the Baynes by what Humeny calls half a dozen ‘collateral witnesses’ who cannot be disclosed presently. The Risk Assessment also included statements from caregivers of the three children, the medical history from Dr. Colbourne and Humeny’s own findings. When Doug Christie asked why page 35 of the Risk Assessment was left empty, it was learned that this page would have contained a summary of the parents’ strengths. Mr Christie made the point that Mr. Humeny chose not to include comments such as the parents’ dedication and love and commitment to their son Baden during his three month hospital stay due to premature birth; and the commendations from their family doctor on their superior care of the boy during the at home care phase. Mr. Christie asked why Mr. Humeny did not mention some of the 350 visits that the Baynes have made to their children, and that they ask for more visitation opportunity. Mr. Christie queried why Mr. Humeny did not include the mother’s piano teaching experience with children over several years. Still pressed about this omitted page, Mr. Humeny stated that he did not feel that he knew the parents. This didn't wash with Christie because it was pointed out that Humeny had many meetings with the Baynes. Mr. Humeny was reminded that countless letters were written to the Ministry by friends and family and professionals which spoke positively to Paul’s and Zabeth’s home, character, forms of discipline used, interactions with their children, their involvement with others socially and otherwise, and the perceptions of students about Zabeth’s professional instruction. Mr. Humeny acknowledged that he was aware of this mail but he did not read the correspondence saying he did not have the time for it. He had relied upon the ‘collateral witness’ data and when cross examined, it was pointed out by Mr. Christie that that the support letters could have provided at least a balanced view of the Baynes if not call the ‘collateral witness’ data into question. Christie stressed that Humeny's risk assessment was written so obviously from an adversarial position it might be deemed hostile. Mr. Humeny's testimony under cross-examination recommences on Thursday at 9:30 AM at the Chilliwack Court House.

The CBC News article entitled ‘Surrey Couple Challenge Shaken Baby Allegation’ published Thursday, January 14, 2010 | 2:51 PM PT is found here.


  1. If the RCMP didn't charge the Baynes with child abuse, they should not be subject to what is the equivalent of the death penalty - that is, having their children taken from them. This is tantamount to torture by the State.

  2. Ray Ferris experienced technical difficulty posting his comments so he sent them via email and here they are:

    "I was in court yesterday on the Bayne case and I would like to add one or two small things to Ron Unruh's excellent blog. As he pointed out Loren Humeny was in the witness box. Under cross-examination Humeny had to admit that the risk assessment was written when he was in an adversarial position with the Baynes, because the MCFD were already seeking a continuing care order on all three Bayne children, with the parents opposing. He was also able to admit that the risk assessment was largely his opinion and thus it was very subjective. What he would not admit was that it would be in his partisan interests to make the Baynes look as bad as possible. Of course he did tar them as black as possible and he showed no knowledge and skills in assessment writing, failing every professional standard. (Note it is okay to express an opinion if you have some good facts to quote to back it up.) Another point for social workers. It is fine to accept a piece of unverified information over the phone or otherwise. If it causes concern about child safety, one must simply use it as a starting point for investigation and finding actual facts. Humeny never did this.

    Even when given the chance to present some factual evidence, he was reluctant to do so. Follow this. He had made allegations in his initial court presentation and again in his assessment that the younger Bayne boy had suffered unexplained injuries. This stemmed from a doctor making a mistaken diagnosis that some bone abnormalities were due to abuse. Intensive specialist assessment concluded that the abnormalities in the bones were due to a medical condition, common in extremely premature children. The original doctor had no problem changing his opinion on seeing the new evidence. When Loren Humeny was shown copies of the exonerating documents, he had great difficulty in confirming the fact that they had all been available to him before he made his statements about unexplained injuries. He had difficulty remembering whether he seen the documents or not. It never occurred to him to discuss it with the Baynes and get the documents from them. He reluctantly admitted that the documents were available to him on the ministry records. The final tidbit was that he refused to change his original position on being shown the exonerating documents. His reason? It was only the doctor's opinion. Oh yes he eschews facts. So far, in the three days I have sat in court, I have not heard one of the four ministry witnesses offer one piece of factual evidence. Silly me, I have not kept up with the times. All the rules of evidence must have changed in the last twenty years." Ray Ferris

  3. The financial cost of this, which is exhorbitant, is nothing compared to the moral cost.

    The MCFD was not expecting such a battle. They generally like to pick on those whom they believe will never be able to afford a lawyer. The hubris of Child Protective agencies around the world means that they will never, ever admit they were wrong when they rip a child from their parents. It seems they would rather children endure unimaginable horrors than give them back to their parents.

    The streets are filled with the children of the state - homeless, addicted, suicidal, these poor souls are the ones who make up the majority of prison populations and who too often end up in the graveyard.

  4. A man using the alias ‘Fatherof4children’ had the same technical issue, not possessing one of the listed profiles below. His questions are reasonably generated from this evolving trial. Here are his comments:

    "This blog is invaluable for filling in the gaps in my understanding of the case and my inability to attend every trial day. They have been very informative and very well written in my opinion.

    "Motive" should be the watch word of this trial. Motive is the one element that judge Crabtree definitively stated Dr. Colbourne did not have the right to suggest, despite her stated medical expertise. This is the job of the judge.

    First, what motive would the Baynes having for harming their infant child? MCFD is trying to answer this question by first providing Mike and Elizabeth's testimony on day 1. As Ray Ferris offered in his opinion, the rest of the "evidence" is in the form of character assassination through documentation supplied by ministry social workers.

    Next question: what would be the motive for the Ministers Mike and Elizabeth for filing their child protection concern of the Baynes children at the time they did? Later, what was the motive of Mike to declare to the RCMP that the Baynes (both of them?) suffered from Munchausen’s?
    On the medical front, I read a U.K. Journalist Christina England Dec30/09 "Child Protection Christmas from Families around the world with SBS accusations" analysis of what she believed were inappropriate and possibly duplicated prescriptions of powerful drugs that contributed to Bethany's worsening condition. Was the initial care of Bethany lacking and substandard in nature? Could the doctors involved later have said to themselves "ooops" and hoped that no one would notice?

    After Dr. Colbourne's late-night SBS diagnosis was delivered the subsequent decision to remove Bethany was made, did I hear correctly that Bethany was discharged just days later into the care of foster parents and appeared to be fine and is not exhibiting any of the typical long term SBS-associated health concerns?

    I read a recent SBS story in Richmond in which the child is blind from inflicted injuries by a caregiver and charges are pending (if not already filed). I heard and read that RCMP intensely interrogated the Baynes and released them, apologized and destroyed their print and photo records - two years ago!

    I watched Doctor Colbourne testify. Good lord this woman is arrogantly confident of her position that Bethany was deliberately injured by 'someone' and could "not" have been an accident. (Her assertion better be right for her sake, as the alternative could be her career would be on the line as she would be identified as an MCFD lackey and she could follow the same path as Dr. Charles Smith.)

    It was clear to me the extensive citation of medical tests and exams and acronyms was clearly intended to impress upon the audience her level of expertise and attention to detail, ostensibly to clarify to those of us watching she was the closest to the information, and thus the most qualified to make the SBS determination." Fatherof4children

  5. Fatherof4children's continued post..............

    "Another hypothetical question I would like to make is, how many "child protection" referrals does this doctor get? How many appearances has she made in court that resulted in parents having their children removed, and how much does she get paid as an expert to appear in court. What are her annual billings associated with referrals of her handling suspected child protection issues?

    Compare these costs to the Baynes income and what they spent to try to defend themselves, with the cost that typical parents without MCFD interference to raise children from birth to a university graduation.

    If the judge decides Dr. Colbourne is wrong (correction: the judge does not agree with Dr. Colbourne), how would this affect her future credibility in later SBS findings? Would she then be subject to a malpractice lawsuit or has the 2-year time limit for filing passed because of the delay in hearing this matter? Would other parents who suffer the same diagnosis then be able to use the Baynes’ success in trial against her to discredit her expertise?

    If MCFD wins and the Baynes lose Bethany and perhaps their boys as well, this entire trial and process would serve as validation for their so-called "due process", and would no doubt be repeated over and over again, presumably with less publicity by parents who have less ability to fight them.

    If the Baynes lose this case and lose Bethany and the boys, would they ever be able to find a job teaching children? If the Baynes had more children would MCFD immediately remove them at birth?

    Lastly, how much has this cost you and I as taxpayers and citizens, and is the result, win or lose, truly worth the cost. After all is said and done, has the government helped the Baynes family or have they collectively simply helped themselves keep their jobs and ecosystem intact." Fatherof4children

  6. Unfortunately as Ray Ferris points out to Social Workers, unverified phone calls from unknown sources are used as rock hard fact. This actually happened to me. On the same day our life was turned upside down, a letter arrived in the Ministry Office. Who was this letter from you ask? It was marked "Return to sender, No such person, no such address." What was the contents of this letter? It was the report to the person who made the report and indicating the result of the Investigation. Did this change the Ministries view? Like Mr. Humeny, the SW did not have time to read any of the letters. So, citizens of B.C., wake up. This is systematic, not an isolated case.

  7. It has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that Child Protective workers themselves have been responsible in some cases for making anonymous reports of child abuse, when there was absolutely no child abuse involved (not to menion perjury, lying, fabricating evidence). False allegations of child abuse are far more common than the average person seems to realize. As far as the character and validity of testimony of experts goes, Canadians would do well to remember the horrific damage, pain and suffering caused by a man once considered to be the pre-eminent expert in his field, Dr. Charles Smith. Dr. Smith couldn't even tell the difference, supposedly, between dog bites and scissor wounds - thereby dooming a mother to hell because she was wrongfully charged with murder (by scissors) when in fact her child was killed by dog bites. Dr. Smith was instrumental in sending many other innocent people to prison (and they lost everything, including their remaining children, who were adopted out). And even when these parents were proven innocent, years later, they didn't get their children back, and Dr. Smith didn't get so much as 2 weeks in jail.

  8. Ever hear of "painting everything with the same brush"? From your take, that means that because one doctor did wrong, and he did, ALL doctors are suspicious? Sort of like, if one husband is an abuser, all husbands are abusers? or if one teacher treats a child poorly, ALL teachers are suspect? or if one minister speaks untruthfully, all ministers are liars? Strange reasoning ... I know of a little girl that was "seized" recently by the horrible MCFD because she was covered in cigarette burns ... how dare the MCFD step in ... surely her parents loved her too, and were doing a much better job than any horrible foster parent could ... your arguments make no sense to me.

  9. Exactly febi11!!
    This story is so one sided! How do these people know for sure this family did not harm their children? How can anyone know what went on behind closed doors. From what I am gathering this family and their followers think they are very high and mighty and beyond harming their children which if anyone reads the facts on child abuse will see that any family is capable of harming their children. Child abuse happens in all walks of life! Maybe trying to be so perfect and have everything so perfect all the time got too stressful?

  10. febi11 said... "I know of a little girl that was "seized" recently by the horrible MCFD because she was covered in cigarette burns ."

    Really? Why didn't I read about this in the news? Are you sure they were cigarette burns, or were they in fact the chicken pox? It wouldn't be the first time MCFD twisted the truth.

  11. To CPS - why didn't you hear it in the news? You're joking, right? Nobody can dismiss that kind of abuse, not even you, please, right? Listen, I was a foster child, I've experienced abuse myself. Whether it fits your paradigm or not, abuse happens. Think before you write.

  12. Again, if this really happened, it would be on the news, so please refer me to the news story.

  13. CPS you are a very twisted person. I am appalled and my family doesnt even know how or what to think after reading your last cruel comments. The little girl we are speaking of is 5 years old and she happens to be MY foster daughter. It is none of your business and I will not give you the gruesome details of how she has suffered and it will not be on the news because not every child abuse case is on the news. Thank goodness for that, she has been through enough. Oh and MCFD did a wonderful job protecting her, choosing a foster home that can deal with such trauma and still work with the people that caused her harm and they handled it very carefully so as she could keep what little dignity she had left. Her so called "monster" social workers call daily to make sure she is ok. So dismiss this as chicken pox, it makes you look very cold and callous and very small minded.

  14. Well, seems how you are anonymous (and of course have to remain anonymous) there is no way of knowing if your story is true. I do notice that people who work for or unconditionally support Child Protective Services tend to attack anyone who even suggests that CPS might take children from good families.

    As I stated before, MCFD and any child protective agency can make whatever claims they want; they have the vast power of the state and virtually unlimited resources. What is happening here in this case is obvious to any thinking person: the MCFD doesn't have a case (that's probably why their own lawyer said to give back the children), so now they are doing their best to throw mud, and to attack anyone who dares to suggest that allegations of child abuse might not always be real.

    Let's face it - child protection is a big business, employing everyone from expert witness (e.g., the infamous Dr. Charles Smith) to shrinks like Jason Walker (a fine upstanding man, who just happens to have been charged criminally recently). Seems like everyone and their dog is jumping on the bandwagon these days, since not only is the pay good, they can also masquerade as saints who protect the most vulnerable members of society.

    Meanwhile, the Bayne's children have been living in abusive environments where they get bruises, cold showers, hit on the head with a hammer, infections, and lead a life of horror and despair. Those who endorse that kind of punishment are what I would call twisted, very cold, callous and very small minded indeed.

  15. Oh thats quite funny. As a foster parent with a vast group of foster families who all know and support each other we are getting a good laugh at you. You are so bitter. Its almost like you have had your children removed! We face people like you everyday. Angry because we are the ones raising their children because they cant!!
    The only abuse those children suffered was when they were NOT in foster care. Now that they are safe they are getting the best care they have ever had in their lives. In fact tonight they curled up in foster mommys lap and had a nice story and lots of cuddles before bed. Just the way it should be.

  16. Yes, we've all heard what a great job foster care - that is, the State - does of raising children. I guess that's why the rates of homelessness, drug addiction, suicide, murder, incarceration, etc., etc. are so much greater in foster children and aged out foster children.

    I have never communicated with anyone who went through foster "care" who said that they didn't, somewhere along the way, get treated very badly. Too many foster children are beaten, abused, neglected, raped and murdered. This has been proven, time and again. Instead of so adamantly refusing to acknowledge the problems in foster care, why don't you look for solutions? And one very good solution would be to do everything in our power to make sure that children aren't wrongfully taken from their parents.

    And as for your apparent accusation that I've had my children taken by MCFD: this might be a novel concept, but people can be outraged about injustice without actually having experienced that injustice. But I understand that this is just a way to discredit me, and by extension, what I post here on this comment board. People don't need to take my word, however; the facts are out there, and they do not support the notion that foster care, or Child Protective Services, is above criticism or beyond reproach.

  17. tracnlenplus10, YOU are the DEADBEAT CITIZEN who is twisted in her thinking. How DARE you be so stupid to think that a life of abuse in a foster home is better than a child growing up in their own family! You must have a genetic defect in your line of ancestry. That is the only thing I can think could be your problem, other than you are possessed by a wicked demonic spirit. SHAME on you!

  18. Diane, many people in the world are abused. Whether they are in foster care or not. I have never said there was no abuse in Foster homes. In fact I agree, there is abuse everywhere. I also know that the Foster Parents I am involved with and my family as Foster Parents themselves do the very best we can to help the children we care for. Theres alot of change happening with the way people are allowed to get into fostering and people like myself are always adding new ideas to support foster parents and the families they work with. More training has been added and will still be added and I believe theres always room for improvement when working within this system. I agree the system has flaws, and I hope we can all work harder to fix it. We dont get to pick who we care for, we get a call from the Ministry telling us they need care for a certain child/children and we do it. We do it for many reasons. I knew I wanted to foster since I was 10 years old. I knew of a foster child who was my friend at the time who was in an abusive foster home and I thought even then that I could look after her and treat her with love and respect and thats what I do today. Not all foster parents are bad, not all ministers, teachers, Dr's, Social workers, youth leaders, Police officers, lawyers etc are bad. There are a few bad people in this world who make it bad for everyone else. Calling me stupid, and a deadbeat citizen is not going to make this case better. You should meet me before you cast such a hard judgement on me. Even if you were very angry when you wrote that, its very harsh. I am a very active citizen in our community and I can guarantee I'm not possessed by a wicked spirit!
    We're on different sides of this story. It is possible for us to agree to disagree. I see it one way based on my knowledge and experience and you see it another based on what you know.
    I dont necessarily believe Paul and Zabeth dont deserve to have the kids come home but I do believe (and its my own opinion) that someone did something to cause Bethanys injuries. I am not deadbeat, stupid, genetically defected or possessed by a wicked demonic spirit. I just have my own opinion thats all.

  19. TracyandLenPlus10 -

    You said:

    "The only abuse those children suffered was when they were NOT in foster care."

    Who are you to decide these children were abused?

    "Now that they are safe they are getting the best care they have ever had in their lives."

    So you claim.

    "In fact tonight they curled up in foster mommys lap and had a nice story and lots of cuddles before bed. Just the way it should be."

    Why do they have bruises? Why are they getting cold showers? Why are they being hit on the head with a hammer?

    You sound like exactly the kind of foster "parent" that I wouldn't want any child to be with. You are gloating over the fact that you have possession of someone else's children, revelling in the fact that you have them, and they don't. It really makes me have all that much more sympathy for the Baynes.

    And as far as Diane Booth goes, she has every right to say what she says, and feel what she feels. She is yet another example of someone who has - along with her son - been terribly wronged - tortured, in fact - by so-called Child Protective Services. She is not an anamoly - there are thousands and thousands of parents like her.

  20. CPS says Why do they have bruises? Why are they getting cold showers? Why are they being hit on the head with a hammer?

    Who says this happened while they were in care? Were you there? Did you see it happen? Wheres the proof? Wheres the witness?
    I'm sure the bruises could be mistaken for birthmarks or a skin condition, maybe they got dirty playing outside in the sandbox. They couldnt really be bruises!!! and where is this hammer? I never saw a story on the news about kids being hit with a hammer, how could that possibly be true? And the cold shower, whos cold shower are we talking about? Where did that happen? Who would do this? It Must be on the news!!!

  21. I made a polite request for civility in making comments rather than making personal attacks. I appreciate interaction even with people who hold opposing opinions. Much can be gained from listening to one another. However, I am dismayed by some of the comments by people who believe they are assisting me in my interest to encourage the Baynes in their recovery attempt. I don't write my entries with a view to scoring by wounding and I don't require that kind of help from anyone else. Name calling and irrational rhetoric does not serve my purpose. I thought I would simply remove a couple of commentators. Now I am seriously considering removing the comment option entirely. I view that as unfortunate but preferable. I will sleep on it.

  22. i think that if cps and diane booth are going to make acusations , they should be careful they dont end up in court. if all those things happened to the bayne kids in care, do you not think that the parents would have made the public more aware of it than they are ??

  23. Trac, I agree with Ron wholeheartedly with about the fact there is no need for name calling and slander. There is also no need sarcasm and making facetious comments. You can't possibly seriously suggest that the children's bruises and cuts and abrasions were not real bruises but dirt and birth marks. These injuries have been photographed. So, if it's a birth mark it should still be there. Dirt? Now that's funny. I suppose the children made themselves bleed. Finally you ask how do you know the injury did not occur prior to the children being taken into care? They have been in care for over 2 years, If they were injured prior to being seized, then MCFD should have ensured that proper medical care was provided. But if you are not going to ensure they have the correct diagnosis for 1 child why bother with the others. And febi11, I thought MCFD workers where not supposed to comment on cases or release private information to the public.


I encourage your comments using this filter.
1. Write politely with a sincere statement, valid question, justifiable comment.
2. Engage with the blog post or a previous comment whether you agree or disagree.
3. Avoid hate, profanity, name calling, character attack, slander and threats, particularly when using specific names.
4. Do not advertise