Prosecution drops charges against teen mother – state steps in to help
A 16-year-old mother of two is no longer facing a charge of possession of a home-made firearm, and it appears she will in the future have a support network of protection to reach out to when she is fearful persons are seeking to take advantage of her.
The resident of a Leeward town first appeared at the Serious Offences Court (SOC) last Tuesday, August 17, where she entered a ‘not guilty’ plea to the charge of possession of an unlicensed firearm, and was granted bail in the sum of $800 in her own recognisance.
Yesterday, August 23, prosecutor Sergeant Renrick Cato explained that, having discussed the matter with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the prosecution was withdrawing the charge against the teen. He did not elaborate further.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne, thanked defence counsel Grant Connell for providing assistance to the teen when they suggested his name for the task. The magistrate was telling the teen that court officer Sergeant Ash will put her on to agencies that will give her some help with regard to her living situation, but while relaying this, she was alerted to the presence of a social worker in the courtroom, who confirmed that she had journeyed specifically to meet and speak with the teen.
Outside the court, the young mother of two daughters explained that she had been fearful, as persons sometimes took advantage of her. Someone familiar with the situation noted that the teen had been on the receiving end of physical abuse, her speech trailing off as if to suggest there was more.
However, the young woman said that she will not be scared anymore. An officer explained that she will have persons she feels comfortable talking to for that type of protection, and a network of friendship.
The young mother explained that she has “nobody” to turn to, but added that there are times that she speaks to someone who befriended her during the birth of her first child.
She is said to be living in a shanty with her father, and is in need of help with items such as plywood. The state has started giving her supplies such as pampers, and toiletries and is apparently intending to visit where she is living and will take it from there.
The teen is apparently an affectionate mother, and does not want to part with her children. Having dropped out of secondary school, her option is to go to a Technical Institute to learn a skill. Personally, she says that she would like to sew.
However, as it stands currently, she has to stay at home with her children.