KITCHENER — A Cambridge woman and her 25-year-old son were sentenced for incest and forgery yesterday for a five-year relationship that led to three more children in the family.
The 42-year-old woman was sentenced to 43 months behind bars while her son was given a 19-month conditional sentence.
They were found guilty in August of posing as husband and wife and having sex with each other between 1996 and 2001.
They cannot be named to protect the identity of their two children, who are now in foster care.
Their relationship only came to light after their third child, a 2-year-old girl, was rushed to hospital under suspicious circumstances in June 2001. The girl died from dehydration.
Her illness was later linked to an underlying medical condition — common to children of incest — called adrenal gland atrophy.
Her parents were not held responsible for her death but police began an investigation that culminated in the couple’s arrests on charges of incest, as well as fabricating and using false documents in an attempt to create a new identity for the son.
Justice Pat Flynn called the woman a “monster” during sentencing yesterday.
“I’ve never encountered a more bizarre case in my quarter-century in the law,” Flynn said.
The couple actually got married and the man claimed to be his mother’s husband. He even made up a new name, giving himself the title of prince. He donned a pair of glasses and adopted an English accent.
During the trial, jurors heard suspicious social workers pestered the woman for weeks to present her son and her husband together in one room.
She eventually said her son had died in a volcano in the Congo and gave up the charade only at the beginning of his sentencing hearing.
The man said that after hearing the overwhelming amount of evidence at the trial he finally believed he was actually his mother’s son.