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More appropriate ways to punish child

Magistrate advises mother:

By Innis Francis

THE sentencing of Gabrielle Emptage, the woman found guilty of beating her ten-year-old daughter, was put off yesterday because a probationer's report was not yet ready.

Instead, Emptage was advised by the magistrate that she find a way to communicate with and discipline her child.

Emptage, 26, appeared in the Fourth San Fernando Court yesterday represented by attorney Shaun Teekasingh.

The mother of two, who is free on bail, told Magistrate Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds that she was meeting with Family Services at the court's request.

Her attorney said a probationer's report was not available.

Teekasingh said: "(Emptage) has been to three sessions. One she attended with her daughter and two by herself. She is still waiting for a social services representative to attend her home for assessment."

Emptage was charged with beating her daughter because the child disobeyed her orders to stay away from a female relative last October. The incident was reported to the police by school officials after bruises were noticed on the girl's face, neck and arms.

Teekasingh said there was continued tension between the adults and it was causing tension to the child.

Magistrate Ramsumair-Hinds asked Emptage how she disciplined the girl.

Emptage said, "I try to punish her."

Ramsumair-Hinds responded: "You cannot deprive parental discipline. Not because the case is before the court you cannot discipline your child. You are to provide guidance to your child. You need to provide discipline and guidance. Find a way to communicate without physically punishing the child."

Ramsumair-Hinds ordered Emptage to prepare a list of appropriate ways to punish the child for the next day of hearing. She said Emptage should prioritise her methods by rank, ranging from mild, moderate to severe punishment.

The matter was adjourned to February 1, 2013.

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