Cassidy Bernard's ex-boyfriend sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter in her death

Warning: This article contains disturbing details.

The ex-boyfriend of Cassidy Bernard has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for manslaughter and a consecutive three years for child abandonment in connection with the young mother's death.

Dwight Austin Isadore had initially been charged with second-degree murder in December 2019, but the Crown accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter last month in Port Hawkesbury Supreme Court.

Minus time served, Isadore, the father of Cassidy Bernard's children, will spend a little more than 14 years behind bars.

Mona Bernard, Cassidy's mother, says the process has been overwhelming, but says she's satisfied with the outcome.

"Really happy my daughter has justice and the little girls have justice and now we just have to learn to live on without her," said Mona.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Isadore assaulted Bernard, who was his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his two children, on Oct. 21, 2018.

The Indigenous woman died from her injuries that day and was found inside her home on the We'koqma'q First Nation, N.S., on Oct. 24, 2018. She was found in her bed, under a blanket and covered in heavy makeup.

An autopsy determined Bernard had died from blunt force injuries to her neck and head and her death was ruled a homicide.

She was 22 years old at the time of her death and Isadore was 19.

Court documents state that Bernard’s seven-month-old twin girls were found inside a crib next to their mother. The infants were cold, dehydrated, disoriented and malnourished, but they survived.

"That three year consecutive sentence is one of, if not the highest sentence in this country for the offense of child abandonment, which recognizes the significant aggravating factors that were present in this case," said Crown attorney Peter Harrison. 

Court documents state that, after his arrest, Isadore admitted to the RCMP that he had gone to Bernard’s home and they had gotten into an argument. He said he struck Bernard several times in the face, neck and back, and that she died in his arms.

According to the agreed statement of facts, Isadore told police that he placed her in her bed, put a blanket over her, and applied makeup to her face to conceal her injuries. He told police the twins were still in their crib when he left the home and he didn’t return.

Six victim impact statements were submitted to court Wednesday, with several of them read by family, friends and community members.

Mona Bernard said her daughter's death has changed her life, that she is not the same person and her heart is broken.

Chief Annie Bernard Daisley of We'koqma'q First Nation said Isadore is no longer welcome in the community.

"His young life is going to be served in prison, where he has to live every day with the crimes he committed against Cassidy," said Daisley. "Every day he has to think about how he beat her to death and every day he has to think about those two babies he left behind."