Child 'suffered terribly'

A woman who failed to take her son to the doctor for a strep infection has been sentenced to three years in prison - a punishment a Calgary judge says fits the grave crime that resulted in the seven-year-old boy's painful death.

Tamara Lovett, 48, was convicted in January of criminal negligence causing death.

Justice Kristine Eidsvik said it wasn't Lovett's fault her son Ryan got sick, but she had several days to get him proper medical care. The trial heard Lovett gave Ryan dandelion tea and oil of oregano when he developed the infection that kept him bedridden in their Calgary home for 10 days in 2013.

"Ryan suffered terribly from this inaction." she said in her sentencing decision Friday. "He died an excruciating, unnecessary death.

"Her failure to bring him to a medical doctor caused his death."

She noted that Lovett is still suffering terribly from grief and has admitted what she did was wrong.

"Her remorse, I believe, is genuine," said Eidsvik.

But the judge said she's not sure there has been a sincere shift in Lovett's beliefs that made her skeptical of the medical system.

The Crown had called for Lovett to spend up to five years in prison while her lawyer proposed one year behind bars and one year probation.

Prosecutor Jonathan Hak said outside court the sentence sends a clear message.

"If your child is not getting better, you are legally and morally bound to take that child to an actual doctor for actual medical care."

Defence lawyer Alain Hepner said Lovett's prison term will pale in comparison to what she has already suffered.

"She's received a life sentence already for being responsible for the death of her child," he said outside court.

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