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

Provincial funding will help Regional District of Nanaimo create poverty reduction strategy

RDN partnering with member municipalities and Islands Trust on regional study

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

Beefs & Bouquets, June 3

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Parcel stolen from front porch, Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect

Unidentified woman allegedly stole package containing $400 smart watch

Police look for suspect after alleged assault at gas station in Nanaimo

Victim says he was punched in the head several times in late April at business in South Wellington

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo’s Rocky Point

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Most Read