Posted Jun 5 2002 09:25 AM EDT
Court sees videotape in Aylmer corporal punishment case
TORONTO — A child protection hearing in St. Thomas has seen its first videotaped interview with one of the seven children involved in the case. The hearing is to determine if the children, taken from their home in Aylmer last summer by the Children's Aid Society, still need protection.
The lights in the courtroom were dimmed, Tuesday, so the judge, lawyers, family members and reporters could watch the first video of one of the children.
The recording shows one of the older male children being interviewed by an Aylmer police officer – not in uniform. A child protection worker and a translator are also present, but can't be seen.
The child is questioned about how and why he is disciplined by his parents. The mood is light and co-operative. But more specific details about the interview cannot be revealed because of a publication ban imposed by Justice Eleanor Schnall.
That ban also applies to other testimony given yesterday. Two caseworkers from the Children's Aid Society in St. Thomas fielded numerous questions about their involvement with the family, including details about what they saw, heard and understood during their contact.
The media's presence in covering of the case was also scrutinized.
The family belongs to the Church of God. It believes in corporal punishment with a rod or stick to discipline children.
Church Pastor Henry Hildebrandt told reporters there will be a rally at the courthouse on Friday with members of the Church of God coming out to show their support for the family.