Woman bonded for slapping child’s father
A defendant was bonded this Monday for slapping her child’s father outside the Family Court after losing custody of her child.
This display of aggression was the second in a two-part incident that took place last Wednesday, April 24.
The defendant, Shanet Boyde of Ottley Hall, had previously been involved in a common law relationship with Darrio DaSilva of Green Hill, during which they parented a daughter.
Last week, the parties were in the middle of a custody hearing at the Kingstown Family Court. The court was suspended at noon, and the parties were instructed to return at 1 p.m. It was at this time that the first altercation occurred.
The mother, who later gave a statement admitting her actions to the police, threw juice on the father as they exited the courtroom. She also picked up a broken bottle from a table, and raised it at him.
Later that day, the two returned for the hearing, which ended in the father receiving full custody of the child.
The defendant left the court crying and shouting at the father, who apparently told her, “You ain cry yet.” After this the mother slapped him on his left cheek.
“I was very upset and angry at the time, and I didn’t think and I just react,” she told Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias on Monday.
The mother has custody of her daughter, which is her only child, two weekends every month, as she informed the magistrate.
Browne-Matthias commented that it was obvious that the defendant had not thought about the situation, “because you were leaving the court to return a little later where the matter will be ventilated, and I’m certain he used the incident to his advantage.”
The father was not present at court to give his contribution in the matter.
“You have a lot of work to do with regard to…your image and presenting yourself, and being a suitable and fit parent and mother…to restore that kind of image in the child’s mind,” the magistrate said, while commenting that she hoped the child was not there.
When the child is in her care, Browne-Matthias asked that she be careful of how she projects herself, and what she says.
There were two charges laid against the defendant, the first was assault with the intent to wound, and the second was assault occasioning actual bodily harm. For the first the magistrate decided that a reprimand and discharge was appropriate.
On the second, it was decided that a bond in the sum of $900 should be imposed for six months. If the mother breaches this bond she will pay the sum forthwith, or a sentence of six months in prison will be enforced.
The decision to place the woman on a bond was done for the reason of compelling her “to think a little more” should she ever be in a similar situation again, said the magistrate.
Browne-Matthias also advised the defendant to receive counselling if she thinks that she needs it.
“…because these matters are very emotional, and very high strung matters when it comes to children, custody, one party feels that they lost, and it really takes a toll on your emotions,” she stated.
She told her to work on herself, and start building herself up, so that she would not be found wanting as a parent.