Mother who beat son awaiting sentencing
A MOTHER from Layou who chased her 12 year old son into the police station there to continue beating him, inflicting injuries that caused him to be hospitalized, has been remanded to jail to await sentencing.
Her son had cried when he ran into the police station on February 12, and his 40 year old mother was streaming tears when she appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court last Friday, February 14.
The mother is charged before Senior Magistrate, Rickie Burnett, for assaulting her son, a minor, on February 11 and 12.
Prosecutor, Corlene Samuel, who read the facts, informed the court that the child had recently lived with his paternal grandmother, but started living with his mother a few months ago.
On February 11, the 12 year old had returned from school and was at the Layou home that he shares with his mother, stepfather and another individual.
His mother told him to remove dry clothes from the washing line, and hang up the wet clothes. While doing this, his mother came around the house to where he was, and began cursing him, using obscene language.
At some point, she went to find a stick at the back of the house, and she used this to beat the child in the area of his neck.
“That piece of stick broke, and the defendant continued beating him with her hands, in the area of his neck, and shoulders,” the prosecutor explained.
The child, who is also said to have received injuries from this beating, ran into the house, and then fell asleep. However, it was the February 12 incident that caused the police to be made aware of what was going on. On this day, at 4:45pm, the child returned from school to find his mother sitting in a chair. She ordered him to wash his uniform, and he went outside to do so.
While in the process of washing his uniform she asked him if he was finished, and he answered no. He also told her that he had eaten all of his lunch.
After this exchange, the mother went back into the house and found a piece of bread behind a suitcase.
“The defendant then took a belt from the other person living in the house and started to beat the child repeatedly,” the prosecutor read. Another woman in the house asked the mother to stop, but she refused to listen.
The 12 year old ran away from his mother and into the police station, which is approximately three minutes away from their residence. The child met a female Corporal there who asked him why he was crying. He told her his mother was beating him.
The mother ran into the station a few moments later, and tried to grab her son who avoided her, ran behind the police officer, and into the area where prisoners usually sit.
The police officer was between her and the boy, standing in the doorway, and the mother pushed the Corporal away in order to get to her son, grabbed the boy, and continued to strike him.
At this point the magistrate interjected, asking, “in the station?,” and the prosecutor confirmed this.
It took the intervention of another officer, a constable, to stop her. He pulled her away from the child, and took the belt away from her as well. The belt was a heavy leather strap with holes throughout, and was tendered as evidence in court. The officers checked the child, and observed that he had injuries about his body.
A welfare officer was contacted, and she made a report on the child’s behalf.
Although the incidents happened on February 11 and 12, the son was still warded at the hospital last Friday.
Upon hearing that the child was still warded, the magistrate paused. The prosecutor then asked that an adjournment be given for an updated medical report to be provided.
She asked for an adjournment until next Monday, February 24, as the court was not sitting this week, February 17 to 21 as the magistrate was taking vacation leave.
“By that time, more than likely, he should be out of the hospital,” Samuel commented.
Burnett said he felt that the mother should be remanded until that time. He asked whether she had any other children, the prosecutor answered that they weren’t living with her.
Samuel also asked for a social inquiry report to be completed within this period “That report is important as well because it will also inform the court as to what sentence it will impose on this mother of that child,” the Chief Magistrate stated.
He noted that the maximum fine for the “offence” is $1500 or three months in prison.
Turning to the mother, whose head was down, he said, “Let me ask you something…do you drink?” to which she shook her head in the negative.
“You sure about that?… because based on what I’ve heard so far, it doesn’t appear that you are acting as a rational, normal mother would act,” he noted.
“Not even the police were able to steer you or keep you away,… I mean that doesn’t sound right to me at all,” he added, but remarked that everything would come to light on February 24 (with the social inquiry report).
Another woman outside court, told the accused that she was learning a lesson.