N.S. woman who starved her adopted daughter apologizes in court
Susan Elizabeth MacDonnell of Dartmouth is shown at a courthouse in this undated image.
Published Wednesday, January 9, 2013 6:44AM EST
HALIFAX -- A Halifax-area woman caught depriving her adopted daughter of food has apologized for her actions.
Susan Elizabeth MacDonnell was testifying at a sentencing hearing Tuesday in Halifax.
The 44-year-old pleaded guilty in 2011 to aggravated assault and failing to provide the necessities of life to her then one-year-old daughter, Rachel, who almost died.
On Monday, a forensic psychiatrist testified that she diagnosed MacDonnell with a condition known as factitious disorder by proxy.
The psychiatrist said MacDonnell was trying to draw attention to herself by secretly inducing her child's medical symptoms.
During the hearing Tuesday, MacDonnell said: "Apologies cannot be made to Rachel personally. I can only make them to the court, and I do so."
Judge Kevin Coady of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has reserved his decision until Friday.