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Closing arguments to begin at inquest into Jeffrey Baldwin death

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Tuesday in Toronto at the inquest into the death of a boy who was starved and neglected by his grandmother and her partner.

By the time Jeffrey Baldwin died in 2002 at age five, he weighed the same as he did on his first birthday and could not lift his own head.

Experts told the inquest that Jeffrey looked like a child from a starving Third World nation.

His grandmother Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman are now serving life sentences for Jeffrey’s second-degree murder.

The inquest wasn’t held until 11 years after Jeffrey’s death because Bottineau only exhausted all of her appeals in 2012.

The Catholic Children’s Aid Society has implemented many changes since Jeffrey’s death, including various iterations of record-keeping systems, but a manager told the inquest that gaps still remain.

Jeffrey’s parents were barely out of childhood themselves when they had four kids in quick succession, and nearly as swiftly they were taken away by children’s aid and handed over to the grandparents.

But Bottineau and Kidman’s previous convictions for child abuse were only discovered in the CCAS files after the boy’s death.

The coroner’s inquest is not looking to assign blame, but rather is exploring systemic issues surrounding Jeffrey’s death. The jury can make recommendations aimed at preventing such situations in the future.