One of two Lethbridge mothers accused of leaving their young children in a freezing car while they went to a bar last December pleaded guilty in court Friday while the other had a trial date set for next year.
The two women, aged 25 and 31, cannot be named to protect the identities of the children.
The 25-year-old pleaded guilty Friday morning to a charge of failing to provide the necessaries of life.
Her lawyer, Darcy Shurtz, asked that a pre-sentence report be prepared and include a Gladue component, which takes into account the woman’s Aboriginal heritage. Sentencing was set for Jan. 26, 2018.
The 31-year-old had her trial date rescheduled to March 2018. It was originally set for December but had to be delayed due to an expert witness for the Crown being unavailable.
According to an agreed statement of facts read in court, Lethbridge police were called to the 200 block of Fifth Street S. just before 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2016 after witnesses heard a child crying in a white SUV. The vehicle was parked, turned off and locked.
When officers arrived, they smashed out a front window. They found a three-year-old girl inside.
A further search discovered a four-year-old boy under a pile of jackets. Both children were wearing winter coats; however, the temperature outside was –18 C and it was snowing.
The children were taken to hospital and treated from mild hypothermia.
Police then searched the surrounding area and found the 25-year-old mother intoxicated inside a nearby bar called Studio 54.
She told officers she was there with the 31-year-old mom and they had forgotten about their children.
Police said soon after the women were arrested that surveillance footage from the bar showed they had been there for more than an hour.