CMC – A magistrate has sentenced a mother of seven children to four years in jail after she failed to report the abuse of two of her young children.
Senior Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans, Friday sentenced the 38-year-old woman, whose name has been withheld to protect the identity of her children, after she failed to notify officers of the abuse of her five-year-old son in July.
She appeared in court with a man who was accused of assaulting the woman’s five-year-old and four-year-old sons in a manner causing them unnecessary suffering and injury.
The man denied two counts of cruelty to children, while the mother of the boys pleaded guilty to failing to report child abuse.
The court was told that the father of the two young boys came into the Criminal Investigations Department on July 26, to report that his sons had been physically abused by someone while in their mother’s care.
The court also heard that the man let his sons stay with her on July 24 because he was travelling for a job interview and that sometime later, he received a phone call from his sister telling him to go to the Carmichael Road Police Station in reference to his children.
The father told the court that when his five-year-old son noticed him, the youngster ran towards him but collapsed. The prosecution said when the father picked him up, he noticed bruises on his leg. The father said when he asked his sons’ mother if she reported the matter to the police, she told him that she did and that the culprit was already in police custody.
However, the prosecution said when he went to the station, he learned that no report had been made.
Attorney, Keith Seymour, who represented the mother, told the court that his client had shown considerable remorse for her actions and accepted responsibility because her boys were in her care. He also said that she was a mother of seven children, including a six-month-old baby.
But in passing sentence, Magistrate Vogt-Evans said she found a custodial sentence necessary in the “very disturbing case” because she believed failing to report child abuse was child cruelty in itself. As a result, she sentenced the accused to four months behind bars, adding that the tears she was crying in court should have been used when she saw the condition of her children.
“You are only sorry for yourself. My heart is with the children. You did them a disservice to have them treated like that.”
Her co-accused denied committing child cruelty and his case was adjourned to October 22 for trial. He was granted US$5,000 bail and ordered not to have any contact with the children “until further court order”.
The boys were ordered to be taken into protective custody until the case was completed.