The public inquiry of the Manitoban girl Phoenix Sinclair’s death heard the testimony of one her godparents, Rohan Stephenson, on Thursday. Stephenson, along with his wife Kim Edwards, took responsibility of Phoenix during the time when her biological father, Steve Sinclair, was unable to.
Stephenson mentioned in his testimony that he, and his wife Edwards, were good friends with the child’s biological parents, i.e. Sinclair and Samantha Kematch. Stephenson asserted that he and his wife were well acquainted with Phoenix as her parents would often leave her to them for babysitting, so the couple was very close to the little girl. Stephenson confessed to the inquiry that he really liked Phoenix, and mentioned that “she was fun, she was beautiful, and she was incredible.” He added that “I treated her very well … loved her a lot.”
Most of the Phoenix’s short life was spent in and out of Manitoba’s child and family services (CFS) system, except for some when she was living with Sinclair and/or Kematch and a short while with Edwards and Stephenson too. Stephenson confirmed to the inquiry that he returned Phoenix’s custody to Sinclair in October 2003, after he kept her for few months as a “place of safety.” Though a Winnipeg CFS worker’s previously heard testimony narrates that Sinclair’s drinking meant that she was left to stay with Edwards and Stephenson. Stephenson remarked Sinclair to be a capable, while labeling Kematch as a distant mother who would come over to the couple’s Winnipeg house more for a social visit.
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