South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone – found guilty in March of second-degree murder in her daughter Teagan’s December 2014 death – should have to wait 16 to 18 years before she can apply for parole, Crown counsel submitted Wednesday.
The facts, prosecutor Christopher McPherson argued, “lie squarely within the highest range of parole ineligibility.”
Defence counsel agreed the offence was “one of the worst crimes,” but submitted an ineligibility term of 10 years was appropriate, noting “unless Miss Batstone is able to establish that she is fit for release, she will remain in jail for the rest of her life.”
Crown says South Surrey mother who killed daughter should spend 16-18 years in jail before being eligible to apply for parole.
— Peace Arch News (@PeaceArchNews) June 12, 2019
The conviction comes with an automatic life sentence. Lawyers are making submissions today on just how long Batstone – who smothered Teagan with a plastic bag – should remain ineligible for parole, and Justice Catherine Murray is hearing victim-impact statements, including from Teagan’s dad, Gabe Batstone.
Gabe Batstone told Murray he is haunted every day by all the little things he can no longer share with his daughter: trips to the grocery store and the park, comforting her.
“I miss everything, and that never goes away,” he said.
He said he is angered at the impact her murder has had on his two young sons, describing the boys’ sadness, confusion, survivor’s guilt and more.
Gabe Batstone also expressed concern with the court process.
“Often not seen and difficult to prepare for is the slowness of this process,” he told the court. “Four years later, just days before Father’s Day, I sit reliving the worst day of my life…”
In finding Batstone guilty in March, Murray – noting the only issue for her to rule on was whether Batstone “had the requisite intent for second-degree murder” – found “the killing was deliberate.”
“The accused’s actions were purposeful and goal-driven,” Murray said.
Batstone was charged after eight-year-old Teagan’s body was found in the trunk of a car in a cul-de-sac off Crescent Road on Dec. 10, 2014.
During trial, prosecutors pointed to the fact that Batstone never called 911, and that she left notes that read “I’m so sorry,” as well as a four-page letter with phrases that included, “I couldn’t imagine leaving here and leaving her to him,” as among evidence that made it clear Batstone had intended to kill Teagan.
Defence counsel had argued it was “impossible to know… what truly was in Batstone’s mind” in the moments before she smothered her daughter.
In her reasons for judgment, Murray noted that Batstone “did nothing to try to save” Teagan.