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 Victoria 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.

Just Posted

Delays expected on Interurban Road due to wastewater treatment project in Saanich

Traffic down to a single alternating lane until Sunday evening

Downtown Victoria tea shop switches to plastic tea bags

Murchie’s Tea and Coffee says the transition is temporary

Last week for first year of Oak Bay deer contraception campaign

Crew working to administer second booster to all 60 does

Indigenous artist challenges people to re-assess environments with new project

The ‘Indigenous Illuminations’ transforms the ordinary into something new

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Most Read