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I 'fraid mummy

Girl, 10, testifies about abuse:

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin nikita.braxton@trinidadexpress.com

A TEN-YEAR-OLD girl took the witness stand yesterday and testified that it was her mother who scarred her with her fingernails and beat her with a broomstick after she visited relatives.

Told by the defence that it was untrue that her mother, Gabrielle Emptage, had injured her, the girl said her mother may have forgotten about causing the wounds.

San Fernando Sixth Court Magistrate Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds heard evidence from the child that on October 12, she went to the home of her grandmother to find clothing to wear to a school field trip the following day.

The girl said while there, her mother called her home, but she did not leave right away. The girl said she went home and when she saw her mother, she started to run.

"I ran because I 'fraid mummy. When I was running, mummy grab me by my left hand and carried me inside."

The child said her mother "dug her" with her fingernails.

"She sent me to a corner of the house and then she beat me with a broomstick on my fingers and foot. Then she said sorry," the girl said.

Two days later, the child said she went to the home of her grandmother to study, when her mother called her home again.

The girl said she was then banned from going outside the house, but when her mother was not looking, she left and went to the home of a cousin.

She said when she went back home, her mother grabbed her and dug her with her fingernail on her left arm. She also said that her mother grabbed her by her jaw and then by her neck.

Told by the defence attorney that her mother said this did not happen, the little girl said: "She maybe can't remember when she did it."

It was at her school that the child told the principal how she sustained the injuries and the following day a social worker was informed. The child's grandmother was contacted and the girl was then taken to the police station and the hospital.

Emptage, 26, was charged by Detective Constable Parveen Rajkumar that on October 12 and 14, she, having care of a child, wilfully assaulted the child in a manner causing unnecessary suffering and injury.

Grandmother Yvette Emptage also testified about both incidents and told the court she and her daughter "does not have a good relationship due to the abuse of the children".

Rajkumar and social worker Crystal Julien also gave evidence yesterday. The mater is expected to continue today.

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