NOT THE FIRST TIME: Jennifer Lalman's grand-daughter who was beaten on her head with a kitchen utensil. —Photos: INNIS FRANCIS

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'She real harden'

Drunk grandma guilty of beating 11-year-old

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin South Bureau

A DRUNK woman who beat her 11-year-old grand-daughter on the head with a wooden kitchen utensil, yesterday said the frustrations of taking care of a mentally ill daughter and two young grandchildren led to her actions.

Jennifer Lalman will be sentenced next month for assaulting the girl, causing the wound.

The girl, who was brought to court with bandages on her head, said it was not the first time she had been beaten.

San Fernando Magistrate Alicia Chankar ordered that she be removed from the house until a probation officer's report is done. Probation officer Lisa Mohammed has been assigned to the case.

"All children have a little naughtiness in them. You don't beat it out of them. You can't take out your stress and frustrations on the child," Chankar told Lalman, 52.

Lalman was ordered to attend Alcohol Anonymous (AA) classes.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Russell Ramoutar said he was informed that "she has drinks every single day."

Investigation officer constable De Bough also said Lalman was under the influence of alcohol when arrested on Sunday.

Husband Ashraff Khan said she no longer drank puncheon rum but drank beer. Lalman, who said she suffered from hypertension, was represented by attorney Brian Nedd. He said it was the first time Lalman was ever charged with a crime.

Chankar told Lalman, "You need a break. The children need a break from the situation".

On Sunday the girl sought refuge at the home of neighbour Lavona Gabriel after the beating.

It was around 3 p.m. while Lalman and the child were at home that Lalman became angry after asking the girl to do a task.

"As such the defendant used a dhal gutney (a wooden utensil used when split peas is being cooked) and dealt the victim several blows to her head causing a wound," Sgt Ramoutar said.

Lalman said it was the instrument available at the time.

"Thank God it was not a knife or a chopper," the magistrate said. The girl suffered four lacerations.

Lalman told the police when held, "She real harden and I hit she a lash."

Before the court yesterday, Lalman apologised for her actions. She said she was "under stress".

She said apart from taking care of the girl, she also cared for the girl's three-year-old sibling and her 36-year-old mentally ill daughter.

"At this time you need to take care of you. Unless you are cured, you can't be any help to your daughter or the child," Chankar said.

She ordered that Lalman attend the closest AA class to her home and bring to court on June 10 a signed record as the proof that she attended the sessions.

Arrangements are to be made to care for Lalman's daughter and other grandchild.

Lalman was placed on $10,000 own bail.

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