Monday, February 21, 2011

HOW YOU CAN HELP / Part 445 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

How you can help. Advocate Miriam Hill has provided me with a formula for assisting the Baynes in the short term and then for increasing awareness of the need for a true reformation of child and family development and care in this province in the long term. She has suggested Levels of activities and even bracketed the amount of effort required to accomplish these.

Level 1 (Easy/Minimal Effort)
  1.   As part of your email signature tag line, include "I support the Bayne Campaign for Justice. You can too. Check the daily for updates"
  2.   Write a Letter to 3 friends/family who you feel would share your concerns for the Baynes and invite them to be supportive by also doing some of the actions provided here.
  3.   Provide Financial Support for the Baynes' legal expenses - cheques made out to Lau, Chiu, Hunt in Trust for Bayne, 9406 Pauleshin Cres, Richmond, BC V7E 6P2.
  4.   Stay informed by daily visiting the primary support Blog at
  5.   If faith is important to you, Pray.

Level 2 (Moderate Effort/ 1/2 hour)
  1.   Write letters to municipal, provincial and national leaders. For a comprehensive list of potential recipients, see below.
  2.   Write local, provincial and national media groups to request that they consider covering the Bayne family story.
  3.   Visit or phone your local MLA. Go to for a list of MLA's.
  4.   Post notices at your local
    1.   schools
    2.   grocery store
    3.   church
    4.   community organization
    5.   condo/tenant meeting area
  5.   Churches or other Group settings - present the Bayne story to leadership and group members providing information.
Level 3 (Intermediate Effort/3 hours)
  1.   Visit the courthouse whenever the Bayne family has a court appearance. The next appearance is this Thursday Feb 24th at 9:30am at the Surrey Courthouse (see below for more details).
  2.   Dress in the colour black in support of the Baynes. Consider printing "We Support the Baynes" (T-shirt transfer sheets cost ~$2 at Staples) onto a black shirt. (sample: shows a colour for each child with a caption. Click the image, enlarge and print a copy.)
  3.   Contact local school, family, church, and social justice organizations to make them aware of the Bayne Family plight.
  4.   Post a sign in your front yard or window "We Support The Baynes"
Level 4 (More Difficult/Requires effort)
  1.   Arrange for a group of friends (3 or more) to do a sit-in or protest at your local MLA's office. Don't forget to post the details on Facebook at "The Baynes Campaign For Justice" so that others might join you if they are available.
  2.   Wear Black Days - arrange for a large group to wear black for 3 1/2 days (to symbolize the 3 1/2 years the Bayne children have been in MCFD custody)
  3.   Celebrity Involvement - do you know a local celebrity? Arrange for them to contribute their name at a fundraising event or to contribute a gift that would publicly support the Baynes family.
Surrey Provincial Family Court is located at 14340 - 57 Avenue, Surrey, B.C.  
Parking is available underground but is limited, so you will want to arrive early. There will be a list of court cases and rooms as you first enter the building. You can be seated quietly and respectfully inside the courtroom or wait outside the courtroom until their case is called. It is essential that supporters be respectful of the court staff and others. When the Baynes' case is dismissed, exit the courtroom quickly, quietly and in an orderly manner. We will have succeeded in supporting the Baynes' family if the judge recognizes that support for this case is growing, not diminishing.

Sample Letter to Family and Friends
Following is a copy of a letter submitted by a Bayne family supporter. It is essential that you do not copy and paste this letter if you are submitting it in protest to government officials or media outlets as form letters are not effective. Use the data and convey your own perspective. You may do well to condense and shorten the compostion.

Three and a half years ago, the Baynes had two young sons, and a baby girl was born prematurley. Subsequent to the impact of an accidental fall of one of the older children upon the baby, the Baynes noticed that her eating and sleeping patterns had changed drastically and they were concerned enough to take her to hospital. In fact over the next many hours they visited several hospitals and clinics as her condition failed to improve and adequate diagnosis was not made. Finally, at Children’s Hospital an examining doctor (mis)diagnosed Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Immediately this baby was removed from this family’s care. In addition the two boys were also seized from the parental home. RCMP conducted an investigation and found that there was no substance for charges. Much later the boys were placed for a time with maternal grandparents. The Baynes appealed to the media to get their baby girl back. The segment was to be aired later. Meanwhile a social worker met with them and inferred that the baby might be returned to them soon. Then the TV interview aired and the MCFD swooped in and seized the two boys once again.   Over the last three and a half years this family has spent all of their money and time going to multiple specialists who have all agreed that the initial diagnosis by the Children’s Hospital doctor was incorrect – that these symptoms do not match Shaken Baby Syndrome and are consistent with the Baynes version of events. The injury was related to the baby's under-developed skull being struck during the tripping incident. The Ministry of Children and Family Development has not attempted to get a second medical opinion nor returned their children. Instead MCFD has tried to reduce their visitations claiming they that the visits with the children are interfering with their social activities. The Judge however has not agreed and has even allowed visits within the Bayne home. Multiple delays by the Ministry have resulted in a three and a half year removal of their children - all for a crime they cannot prove.   The latest development in the name of protection demonstrates a level of cruelty. Last week the Baynes family enjoyed the birth of a brand new baby born at less than 4 lbs. He must remain in the hospital for weeks. Instead of waiting for this baby to be ready to be removed from hospital, the MCFD moved within three hours to remove him from the parents. Clearly this baby was to be in the care of the hospital for weeks to come and is there now. Further, MCDS refuses to even allow the baby to drink expressed breast milk, which no one denies is what is best for him. At the last hearing held Thursday, February 17th, the Ministry's lawyer and the case Social Worker did not appear in court but rather applied for yet another postponement. As a citizen of British Columbia, whom they are supposed to be representing, I am outraged and alarmed and fearful for those to whom this might happen next. The Bayne family are good, decent and pleasant people. They themselves never expected this could happen to them.   I have sent this to you with the belief that you may feel as I do, that injustice has been done here.

If you are interested in investigating this further, please go to the primary information site, or the Facebook page called Bayne Campaign for Justice. Please consider supporting the Baynes family.


  1. Superb advice, thank you so much Miriam Hill and Ron Unruh!

  2. Zero hour approaching.
    Today I write about why I am convinced that there can be no continuing care order. First of all, the evidence is simply inadequate to justify a CCO. To remove a child permanently one must prove that the parents are hopelessly unfit and can never be entrusted with the care of a child again. The evidence must be clear and compelling. What did the director present on the Bayne case? One medical opinion. A judge is known as a trier of fact. Not a trier of opinion, allegation, hearsay or rumour.
    Opinion evidence can be admitted, if it is expert opinion. When expert opinion is introduced, the expert must first be tested to see if the expertise is reliable. Even when accepted as expert the facts cannot be escaped. The expert must state all the facts on which the opinion is based. That is why expertise must be tested first in order to prove that the witness is qualified to interpret the facts. Those facts can be viewed and the opinion tested by other experts We all depend on expert opinons when we go to the doctor, our car mechanic or our dentist. These people are generally thought of as high on the scale of reliable expertise. Very low down on the scale are social workers and their fellow travellers. So when the director introduced a paediatrician, it was she who had given the opinion that the Bayne baby girl had an injury and it was non-accidental. Specifically the baby had a head and brain injury and the doctor said it could only be from having been shaken. That does seem compelling to start with. However in the witness box her evidence immediately started to crumble. To start with she failed to qualify as expert. She was not qualified as a forensic pathalogist and therefore not qualified to infer the cause of an injury. She could only describe the injury itself and explore probable causes.
    Ten qualified experts looked at all the medical data that the paediatrician had looked at when she wrote her opinion and they all disagreed with her conclusions. Some were forensic pathologists and some were bio-mechanical experts. The first thing they all picked on was that the doctor had made a fundamental error in that she had failed to make a differential diagnosis. She failed to consider other causes than shaking. Defence doctors listed them and said that the injury was quite consistent with the accidental cause of injury described by the mother. Any general practitioner could pick that one out. A lot of her time in court was spent in trying to control the damage from this omisssion. Too late her report could not be re-written. Several of the defence experts cast doubt on the whole shaken baby syndrome hypothesis (SBS). They pointed out that it had no reliable research basis. Biomechanical experts made the simple point that you cannot shake a baby hard enough to damage its brain without causing severe neck injury. Moreover such injuries are rarely seen in alleged SBS cases.
    Now you don't need to understand all the medical data on this case to form an opinion. It is plain to judge and public that the dissenting expert opinions render the paediatrician's opinion unreliable and fails utterly to provide clear and compelling evidence. As soon as the judge failed to qualify her as expert in the matter and told her she could not infer cause of injury, the director's case was destroyed. Why then did the hearing go on so much longer?

  3. Reaons continued
    Now I don't say that it is never possible to infer injury from medical evidence, or whether an injury is accidental or non-accidental. Injuries are common in children. No parent can raise active children and escape with no injuries and for the most part doctors assume that those injuries are accidental unless proven otherwise. Loving, caring parents don't just haul off and injure their kids. However, history and profile become important. When families have a history of domestic violence and when there are repeated injuries which are hard to explain, a combination of medical evidence and social profile may well lead to a reliable conclusion of non-accidental injury. Well I am quite an expert on risk profiling, having seen many of the wrong sorts of profile. I could tell within an hour of meeting them that the Bayne profile was completely contradictory to risk and this judgement was supported by numerous other pieces of information that emerged. Well the ministry staff must have noted also that the Bayne profile was inconsistent with deliberate injury, so what did they do?
    The director was desperate to win the case after the children were so long in care, so he went for all the dirty tricks. His staff set out to reinvent the Bayne profile and make it out to be one of needy, unstable people who had strange syndromes. They put on several witnesses who offered not one piece of factual evidence. All they had was smear, gossip, rumour and innuendo.One social worker droned on for hours about process and gave the judge not one piece of relevant information to use. One social worker broke down and could not continue when it came out that she had falsely represented herself as an RSW. The worker conducting the case tried his best to smear the Baynes by use of a risk assessment form. It would be unfair to state that Doug Christie made him look like an ignorant and vindictive oaf. He did that to himself. None of the judges during my protection days would have tolerated this stuff. Hearsay would have been right out. I could not help wondering if the judge was just giving them enough rope to hang themeselves.
    I have another reason for thinking the Bayne family will be reunited. After hearing most of the evidence, Judge Crabtree increased their access from 2 to 9 hours weekly. 3X3 hours instead of 2X2. Later he allowed the ministry to change it to 3 hours on wednesday and 6 on Saturday. He overruled ministry objections and let the Saturday visits be at home. When he made the first decision, he had heard most of the important evidence and when he made the second one all the evidence had been heard and the summary for the crown. Now if he were of a mind to permanently remove the Bayne children why would he increase access and the chance for the kids to think of the Bayne house as home? That would be a highly insensitive thing to do and the judge seemed to be kind enough. We must not overlook the fact that Finn Jensen advised the director two and a half years ago that this case could not succeed with proper defence.

  4. Reasons continued
    Tomorrow I want to analyse why the case took so long, but today I will mention one reason. What was going on here was not just a trial of the Baynes' fitness as parents. There was a trial within a trial and possibly two trials within a trial and that is one of the main delays. The judge could not deal with rejecting the medical evidence on the Bayne case without raising the issue of the validity of the SBS theory in general. He cannot say that cause of injury cannot be inferred from medical evidence alone without rejecting SBS theory, because that is the keystone of their citadel. He is not a supreme court judge and his rulings are not binding, but as chief provincial court judge, his ruling could have a huge impact on other cases and especially on the children's hospital and the ministry for children.
    There is a profound reason why he must make a ruling on SBS theory as well as on the Bayne case. He must study every piece of medical evidence that he can get his hands on to do with SBS. He is well aware that the Goudge inquiry repudiated the validity of the theory and that the SBS citadel is crumbling in Britain and the USA. He wants to be as well-informed as possible in support of his judgement. The danger is that if he makes any error in failing to address any minute piece of evidence, then the ministry will appeal in defence of the SBS theory and the Baynes become just collateral damage. So if he leaves himself open to appeal on the SBS issue, he endangers his judgement on the Baynes. He is delaying to protect them.
    The third trial within a trial is the actions of the director in this case. The judge has had lots of evidence to make some very critical comments on the behaviour of the director and his staff if he has a mind in that direction. He may and he may not. That remains to be seen.

  5. Thank you, Ray Ferris. This is helpful.

  6. Interesting quote: "The worst part of this decision is knowing you're innocent, and being disbelieved"

    Even more interesting is the source: Doug Christie, quoted after his appeal to the law Society was denied.

    Not intending to slander... but I do find it ironic.

  7. For Anon 3:12 PM
    Please clarify for us what precisely in the quoted ruling strikes as you ironic.

  8. Re: Anon 3:12; I find it ironic that lawyer Doug Christie ought to have some measure empathy - his quote indicates that he, too, has felt disbelieved. Is this compassion and understanding coming through in his "vindictive" treatment of the case?

  9. Anons 3:12 and 3:45
    Now I am truly confused. If you are the same writer. When you say that Doug Christie has a 'vindictive' treatment of the case, to what do you refer? Do you know who Doug Christie is? He was the Baynes' defence lawyer. He does empathized with the Baynes certainly and yes he has felt disbelieved, and his track record demonstrates that he has fought for peoples' rights on numerous occasions.

  10. I gather Anon 3:12 references a story that includes the link from the Law Society at (the latter link does not contain Doug Christie's name, which is confusing.)

    The quote I find relevant in context with the pro bono work this remarkable individual, Mr. Christie is doing for the Baynes reads:

    "I do an awful lot of work for nothing for people who can't afford lawyers. That's why I've always had a very low income compared to most lawyers," Christie said.

    I have not the slightest doubt Anon does wish to impugn Mr. Christie's skills as a lawyer by referencing this link. Without Mr. Christie helping the Baynes, this family would be further disadvantaged.

    I was impressed by watching Mr. Christie in action. I have little doubt this reprehensible Ministry wishes very much he would go away.

  11. Anon at February 21, 2011 3:12 PM,

    There is absolutely nothing ironic about your quotation. Doug Christie is one of a small group of lawyers who has great integrity and has fought his entire professional life for justice, and not, like so many other lawyers, got rich by milking clients. He is a hero. I wonder if anyone has ever said the same about you.

  12. Re: Anon 3:12 and 3:45...
    As the writer of these posts, I apologize for the confusion. I admire the tireless work that Doug Christie is doing on behalf of the Baynes. I am confused as to the comment made by Ray Ferris in defense of the Baynes that reads, "It would be unfair to state that Doug Christie made him look like an ignorant and vindictive oaf. He did that to himself." I had assumed that he was not being as supportive as he could be, which I found ironic given his prior experience and pro bono work.
    We will keep praying.

  13. Thanks for writing again Anon 9:00 AM
    I like Doug Christie and have chatted some with him, eaten a couple of meals with him. Needless to say he is a unique individual and his temperament and demeanour set him apart and in some ways account for his successes in the court room through the years. He can seem a bit abrupt sometimes and crusty. He doesn't abide stupidity well or wasting of time, or repetition, or verbiage. He wants facts and he wants them now. He despises hearsay that purports to be evidence. Given the demands upon his gifting and time by a host of wannabe clients, his availability to the Baynes has been nothing but a generous gift so one cannot have expected from him the investment of time that dollars often motivate some lawyers to provide. I respect the man. I am glad that you have seen his value as well.

  14. Not sure why, when I click on the Banner of "We Support the BAYNES" it shows only a picture with an X. Just to let you know.

  15. Anon 1:55 PM THE BANNER
    I tried it and it works for me but that may because I created the link. I haven't had anyone else mention this. Sorry it didn't work for you. It should be opening up as a pdf file in whatever software you have for reading that format. Oops


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