Monday, April 6, 2009

Father 'sorry' he failed to protect boy. Mother charged with first-degree murder.

This is a follow-up to a story where alienating tactics have led to tragedy.MJM

Father 'sorry' he failed to protect boy

Jayden's Funeral

Catherine McDonald, National Post

Published: Monday, April 06, 2009

Richard Williams had waited five months to see his son, Jayden, who had been in his mother's care. On Saturday the Brampton father, his family and about 80 friends gathered to lay the 18-month-old boy to rest.

The toddler was found without vital signs in a Mississauga parking garage more than a week ago. His mother, 34-year-old Nadine Bernard, is charged with first-degree murder.

Mr. Williams, wife Joy and their two children stood by a tiny white casket as a montage of photos of the child's short life played overhead. In the background, lullabies could be heard as mourners wept during the private service at Scott Funeral Home on Main Street.

"Son, I am sorry I was not able to shield you from all your pain," Mrs. Williams said on her husband's behalf.

Their daughter said she "will miss hearing the pitter-patter of [his] little feet in the bathtub;" their son spoke of "missing being able to play piano [for Jayden] and missing being able to teach [Jayden] soccer and basketball."

Mr. Williams told Global News exclusively last week about the extra-marital affair that led to the birth of Jayden in September 2007.

Last July, Mrs. Williams found the child's christening card and confronted her husband about it. He told her of the affair with a co-worker and the birth of the boy. Ms. Williams, desperate to keep the family together, decided to welcome the child into her home.

"There was no way I wasn't going to love that baby," she told Global News.

The couple's two children, aged 11 and 17, also spent months getting to know their half-brother.

But in October, 2008, Ms. Bernard allowed Jayden to visit only with his father, Mr. Williams said. A month later, she denied him visits with his son altogether, he said.

Last month, Mr. Williams was given joint custody and was permitted to have two visits a week with Jayden. Ms. Bernard never showed up for any of those court-ordered visits and was threatening to move to Florida, Mr. Williams said.

Mr. Williams' lawyer told Ms. Bernard's lawyer he would recommend his client seek full custody if she did not honour the joint custody agreement.

On March 27, Peel Regional Police were called to the parkade at 1 Robert Speck Parkway where they found Jayden's body in the passenger seat of a vehicle. His mother had tried to kill herself and was taken to hospital before being charged, police say.

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