Trial begins for man charged with killing stepson
The trial for man arrested in Oliver in 2009 and charged in connection with the death of his stepson started this week.
Lloyd William Cook, 50, is standing trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Prince George after pleading not guilty to one count each of manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death, unlawful confinement and interference with a dead body.
The man's stepson, 13-year-old Adam Williams-Dudoward, died in January of 2000 in Prince George but his death was not reported to police until October of 2004. Cook was living with the teens mother, Judy Elaina Williams, in a common-law relationship which continued when the couple moved to Oliver shortly after the teen's death. It was Williams who approached Oliver RCMP with information about her son's death. She pled guilty and was sentenced on March 7, 2012 to two years of house arrest for interference with a dead body.
Looking back now on a January 2000 home visit, social worker Sarah Lloyd told a provincial court on Wednesday, in hindsight, she would likely have asked more questions and taken further steps to locate the 13 year old.
Her testimony came in response to several questions put to her during cross examination by defence lawyer Stephen Taylor. The social worker said she was following up on an alleged child protection issue and other concerns about Adam and his brother Bradley. But her efforts to talk with family members were frustrated by the boys’ mother who was “very quiet,” showing “lack of eye contact” and also the boys’ stepfather, who had a “level of agitation.”
The social worker agreed with Taylor that with the benefit of hindsight, she’d probably have done things differently respecting the case file and finding out Adam’s whereabouts.
“I would probably have removed Bradley from the (parents’) home the day of my visit and placed him in the care of the ministry and encouraged the RCMP partners (in the investigation) to help me find the older child (Adam),” she said.
Crown counsel asked if there was any red flags, but the social worker agreed that she believed the mother of the 13-year-old when she said the teen was living elsewhere. The social worker said she took “no personal steps” to find out what address Adam was living at. However she was later – in her capacity as supervisor – told by a social worker on her team that Adam was living in Oliver (information that reportedly came from the teens mother).
The case is being heard before judge alone in B.C. Supreme Court in Prince George and it is expected to continue into next week.