There is little sympathy for pregnant mother of nine Kezi Doughty coming from her neighbours living in the shacks at King's Wharf, San Fernando.
Most are relieved that Doughty's babies and infants whom they often saw locked inside, or crawling around outside the house she lived in, have been taken away for good.
All believe that had the children remained there, someone would have died from a fall, starvation or drowning in the waters of the Gulf of Paria located across the abandoned train track from the family house.
Some believe that the five-month prison term imposed on Doughty for abandoning her children, would be of no help to her, and even less help to the twins she may deliver while in jail.
There was agreement that a ten-year prison sentence was more appropriate.
And as for the politicians and preachers in support of Doughty, her neighbours suggested that they come to King's Wharf and find out the details of the children's desperate lives before offering comment.
Doughty was 32 years old and already the mother of nine, when police were again called to the house on June 10 last year.
Officers found her five children, aged six months, two years, three, four and eight, home alone.
Doughty would later tell police she had gone for a sea bath half a mile away. The children's father was at work.
Doughty, who worked in the URP and Colour Me Orange programmes, was initially denied bail on the charge of wilfully abandoning the children to cause injury to their health.
She was committed to the St Ann's Hospital for an evaluation on whether she was fit to stand trial. The doctors prepared a report stating she was of sound mind.
Doughty, whose other four children live with relatives, was granted $25,000 bail.
While awaiting trial, she became pregnant with twins.
Last Thursday, San Fernando Magistrate Alicia Chankar found Doughty guilty and imposed a five-month prison term.
She also imposed a $3,000 fine that if not paid, would mean three more prison months for Doughty, who begged and screamed not to be taken to jail.
The sentence was celebrated by some, but criticised by others including social activist Verna St Rose Greaves, and Roman Catholic priest Fr Clyde Harvey, who said that jail would not help Doughty or her children.
However, Doughty's neighbours said she may have been mentally sharp, but maternally challenged.
Boysie Roach, 90, who lives next door to Doughty's house, said yesterday he had seen the children suffer for years.
"I was too afraid to say anything, because it would be curse after curse. I would see them little children alone there. They were not allowed to play. The (four-year-old) boy had to sit with his back to the sea, or on a sheet of galvanise (iron roofing sheet) all day, and if he only turn, is licks. I see the little girl crying, and the mother would do nothing for her. Kezi was too careless."
Roach said: "I am not glad to see her in prison. But I am glad they took the children. It was a happy day for me."
The women of King's Wharf agreed. A mother of two said yesterday: "She is not a fit mother. These children have a chance now. You can't be leaving your children home for hours, half naked, and police coming, and police having to go look for you when we call them. These children would sometimes have nothing to eat. How they live so long is a miracle. She should get more jail than that."
Andre Ramlochan, the father of a seven-year-old, said Doughty's penalty was too soft.
"This is not like shoplifting. This could have end up in death. A hungry big person could pick a mango or beg a neighbour for food. What these children could do when they home all those hours locked inside behind a big padlock, with (a metal mesh) covering every window?"
The Express visited a home at Gasparillo yesterday where Doughty was said to have spent her childhood. The family there denied knowing her. Attorney Peter Taylor has filed an appeal against the sentence handed down to Doughty and will be seeking her bail.