A woman’s appeal of her 15-month jail sentence, for viciously assaulting her 86-year-old mother suffering from dementia, was tossed out by a B.C. Supreme Court judge. (Tom Zytaruk photo)

Appeal denied in ‘vicious’ attack on 86-year-old B.C. mom with dementia

Monique Van Donselaar sentenced to 15 months after pushing her mother during a heated argument

A woman’s appeal of her 15-month jail sentence for assaulting her 86-year-old mother suffering from dementia was tossed out by a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

According to the ruling, posted online Wednesday, Monique Van Donselaar was charged with assault and uttering threats, to which she pleaded guilty and was sentenced on May 9. A three-year probation sentence was tacked on to her custodial sentence.

On March 11, Donselaar pushed her mother during a heated argument, stating she was provoked. Photographs show severe bruising on her mother’s face, especially both eyes and the right jaw area, along with bruises on the left upper and lower arm, the right chest and the left knee with a large laceration on the knee as well.

READ ALSO: Woman gets two years’ probation after having sex with 13-year-old boy

In a victim impact statement written by the mother, she states her daughter was disowned and that she is fearful each night living alone. Property damage in the apartment was estimated by the mother to be $1,000.

At the time of sentencing, Donselaar told the courts she was visiting Victoria from Edmonton, where she lives, and was not aware of the degree of her mother’s dementia, adding that “[her mother] was like very, very, very hostile,” towards her. Donselaar also stated she has “no problem having no contact” with her mother and she was really sorry.

Donselaar asked the sentencing judge to go easy on her, saying “maybe I can have, like, even an anklet,” and that she wanted to be home for her daughter’s graduation on May 29.

READ ALSO: Appeals court sides with Washington State city in ‘bikini baristas’ case

The sentencing judge stated this was an extreme case of elder abuse, calling into question why the accused didn’t go for help at the time of the offence and the amount of blame placed on the victim by Donselaar.

“This is a considerable level of violence against an 86-year-old woman,” stated the sentencing judge, adding it was troubling that Donselaar wanted to use her daughter’s graduation “as some sort of ‘get out of jail free’ card,” rather than taking responsibility for her conduct.

The Court of Appeals judge noted the courts should only intervene when a sentence imposed at trial is demonstrably unfit or clearly unreasonable. Donselaar believed the sentencing judge erred when he concluded the injuries to her mother were caused by something more than a push and that it was a vicious attack.

The judge found a 15-month sentence was not demonstrably unfit and the appeal was dismissed.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Box containing hundreds of family photos found in Courtenay returned to rightful owner

Local media sources collaborate to solve family photos mystery

Two Comox Valley groups share annual Project Watershed award

Keep It Living Award given to Morrison Creek Streamkeepers and Comox Valley Land Trust

ATV crash at bottom of Mount Washington sends two to hospital

Two people were hospitalized following an ATV (all terrain vehicle) accident shortly… Continue reading

Game on! Outdoor pickleball season starts up in the Comox Valley

Comox Valley Pickleball Association members Evie MacDonald and Donny Cruickshank (near court)… Continue reading

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP told of alleged assault in Courtenay hours after the fact

Police only made aware of possible attack through social media posts

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Comox Valley United appeals to district to support field house proposal

The Comox Valley United Soccer Club is looking for an approximate $150,000… Continue reading

Habitat for Humanity VIN wins national award for innovative approach to building

Courtenay and Campbell River builds represent 400 per cent growth in historical annual average

Most Read