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Father of murdered girl testifies at inquiry

WINNIPEG - The father of a Manitoba girl who fell through the cracks of the child- welfare system says he liked to party, but took care of his baby and always made sure she was safe.

Steve Sinclair is testifying at the inquiry into the death of his daughter, Phoenix Sinclair, in 2005.

Phoenix was beaten to death at the age of five by her mother and mother's boyfriend — not long after social workers removed her from a foster home and gave her back to them.

Sinclair told the inquiry he and the girl's mother, Samantha Kematch, would have drinking parties in their apartment, but would always make sure a friend or relative was taking care of Phoenix.

Social workers took Phoenix from her family a few times during her short life, including in 2003 when Sinclair was having a day-long party with suspected street gang associates.

The inquiry has already heard that social workers failed to monitor the family for months at a time and failed to ensure that her caregivers followed treatment that include addictions counselling.

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