Freezer final option for girl: accused
Man faces charges of abusing infant
By Mike Carson
SUMMERSIDE — Claiming he had run out of options, a 21-year-old Alberton man put a 10-month-old baby girl into a refrigerator’s freezer to try and lower her temperature.
Derrick Leigh Hardy went on trial in provincial court here Thursday, charged with abandoning a child, assault, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and confinement on the baby girl.
Hardy has been living with the child’s mother in Alberton for nearly 27 months and was residing with her when the victim was born.
Hardy did not take the stand Thursday, but through a joint agreement between Crown prosecutor John Diamond and defence counsel Robert McNeill, the court viewed a one-hour and 49- minute videotaped RCMP interview with the accused recorded the day after the incident was reported to police.
Hardy told police his girlfriend had gone out around 11 p.m. the night of May 15, leaving him to look after the 10-month-old girl and her four-year-old son.
He admitted he has no real parenting skills to deal with a child in need, but both children were asleep when the mother left — the boy on the couch and the baby in a car seat on the floor of the couple’s living room. Hardy said he went to get a drink of water and when he looked in on the children the baby had slipped out of her car seat and was face down on the floor.
He said when he picked her up her face “was scalding hot.’’ He said he got a cold cloth and put it on the baby’s forehead but it didn’t lower her temperature. He said he then carried the child to the back porch stairs hoping the cool night air would help. That didn’t work.
He repeated both procedures and still there was no change in the child’s temperature.He went to the refrigerator, opened the freezer door and placed the baby, dressed in a full t-shirt, on her side inside the freezer with her head towards the hinged side of the freezer door and her feet towards the handled portion.
He said the child was in the freezer no longer than 40 seconds before the mother arrived back at their duplex. The trial continues today at 9 a.m.