Intellectually disabled N.S. woman faces new assault charge
Published Thursday, February 6, 2014 12:19PM AST
Last Updated Thursday, February 6, 2014 6:49PM AST
The case against a 34 year old woman facing assault charges for striking a worker in the group home where she lives has been delayed until later this month.
Amanda Murphy smiled at supporters as she entered the Antigonish Courthouse Thursday.
A advocacy group called People First Nova Scotia says Amanda has the cognitive function of an eight year old.
“We will go wherever there are people with special needs bring criminalized because of their disability,” says supporter Cindy Carruthers.
Last year, Amanda pushed and struck a staff member at the group home where she lives.
Today, she and her father expected she would be sentenced for that incident, but the matter was delayed, in part, because of a new charge of assault laid against Amanda last Friday.
The Crown plans to apply for a psychiatric report.
Amanda’s father, Victor, would like to see video surveillance in group homes, to show what really happens.
“It would protect the staff and protect my daughter,” explains Murphy. “Right now, my daughter has no say. It’s her word against two, three staff, whatever.”
Brenda Hardiman’s daughter, Nichele Benn, is going through the courts for a similar situation.
Hardiman believes if the girls are incarcerated, their behaviors will likely continue, and their time behind bars would be extended.
“If we need to review how the laws are dealing with people with intellectual disabilities, then we need to look at what revisions need to take place,” She says. “These people are children inside adult bodies and need to be treated that way.”
It will be a busy month for the People First Nova Scotia movement: Amanda Murphy’s next court appearance isscheduled for February 19th..
Nichele Benn will be in court on the 24th.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh