The sentencing hearing for a Fort Saskatchewan man convicted of killing his one-year-old son and assaulting his daughter will resume next Wednesday (Sept. 7).

In late June, Damien Starrett was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of baby Ares and assaulting his daughter, whose name is protected by a publication.

Ares was pronounced dead shortly after being rushed to the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital on the evening of Nov. 23, 2019. The paramedic working that night told the court most of the baby's head was purple, and there was "considerable swelling" to one eye. Ares also had no pulse and no signs of breathing.  

The sentencing hearing began on Monday with emotional victim impact statements.

Ashton Bishop, the mother of Ares and their daughter, said she has difficulty being around children close to her son's age. Hearing babies cry causes her to panic, and managing her grief while assisting a traumatised eight-year-old daughter has been "exhausting". 

An emotional mother and grandmother, Sherry Bishop, described her devastation after receiving the call the night Ares died. She spoke about struggling to know that her daughter and granddaughter will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.

The court will resume the sentencing hearing on Wednesday morning; the week will be used to review the defence's submissions for the court to consider while determining Starrett's sentence. Two contributing factors are a completed Gladue report and alleged state misconduct that Starrett claims he experienced from guards and inmates at the Edmonton Remand Centre.


In addition, the defence requested that the court consider Starrett's house arrest and the protests that occurred outside his house.