Ottawa Courtroom Drama Mon, 23 Jan 2006
A seven-year-old boy was at the center of an Ottawa courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custodyof him.
The boy had a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the degree possible.
The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his auntbeat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her.When the judge suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him.
After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.
After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Toronto Maple Leafs,whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.