The friend of a Calgary woman charged in the death of her seven-year-old son said Wednesday Tamara Lovett was living in the “darkest realms of poverty.”
Lovett, 47, is charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life and with criminal negligence in her son’s death.
Ryan Alexander Lovett died in March 2013 after getting a strep infection that kept him bedridden for 10 days. Court heard his mother treated him with natural remedies.
Barbara La Pointe met Ryan and his mother about a year-and-a-half before Ryan died. She described Lovett as being utterly and completely unsupported as a mother and human being, which extended to her son.
“They were living in an invisible way on the fringes of society,” La Pointe testified. “Essentially speaking, Ryan was completely isolated. He did not have many friends and certainly did not have a best friend.
“As things progressed, darkened, the idea came into Tamara’s head that she would home-school him.”
La Pointe testified there was no routine in the home and Ryan had little access to food. She said they were “living in a different reality.”
La Pointe began caring for Ryan when Lovett was working and watched him for several days just weeks before he died. She said the last time she dropped him off at home he cried, saying he didn’t want to go home.
La Pointe broke down on the stand when she spoke of the weekend before the young boy died. She had asked Lovett if Ryan could come stay with her and Lovett said no, Ryan was sick.
Lovett wept throughout the testimony, which is set to continue Wednesday afternoon.
Ryan was treated with dandelion tea and oil of oregano before he went into convulsions and his mother called 911. He was pronounced dead in a Calgary hospital.
Watch below: Court hears Tamara Lovett’s frantic 911 call. WARNING – Some viewers may find this disturbing.
With files from Global’s Erika Tucker