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Magistrate: My heart bleeds

No bail again for mother, 17, of two...

THE 17-year-old mother of two, charged with exposing her breast on Carnival Monday, was  denied bail again when she reappeared in court yesterday.

San Fernando Magistrate Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds described the options for the girl’s living arrangements as “outrageous” and remanded her in prison custody.

On Monday, the magistrate found out that the teenager was eight years old when she escaped from a burning house and wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination, but never attended secondary school because she became pregnant with her first child when she was 12 years old. The magistrate asked the officer, who charged the girl with indecently exposing herself, to check into the living conditions should the girl be allowed to leave prison.

The type-written report was submitted by Constable Helen Straiker.

After reading the information, the magistrate responded: “All I can say is this is outrageous.” She told the girl that the children’s father had another woman living in the house and she (the woman) was taking care of the teen’s children who are aged two and four. The girl said she was aware of this.

Yesterday, the girl’s mother, her 19-year-old pregnant sister and the two children’s paternal grandmother were present in court. The children had spent eight months with the grandmother.

The magistrate said there needed to be stability and decency to the existing circumstance, and she reminded the paternal grandmother that the girl became pregnant for her son at the age of 12. “Many eyes looked away in this very courtroom,” the magistrate said as she said no one involved the police in that crime.

The magistrate said a safe home will have to be provided for the teen and the children. “My heart bleeds for this young lady right now... She has to go from what behaviour took place on Carnival Monday to an understanding of what it is to be a mother of young children,” Ramsumair-Hinds said.

During Jouvert celebrations, the girl lifted her T-shirt while at a judging point in San Fernando.

She pleaded guilty to the charge and is being represented by attorney Ainsley Lucky. A probation officer’s report has been ordered in the case.

The girl was yesterday remanded in custody as the magistrate said she will not be sending her back to the house with the children’s father and because her mother was hesitant to have her stay at her home.

The matter was adjourned to April 9.

—Nikita Braxton-Benjamin

 
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