A family is still in shock after a 15-year sentence was handed down to a father who said he was only defending his four-year-old son’s honour following an allegation that the boy was molested by their then 16-year-old male neighbour.
The 52-year-old father was sentenced on July 7 for the offence of wounding with intent.
In a recent interview, his 43-year-old sister-in-law said that the little boy was allegedly molested at home after the teenager had taken him home from school one afternoon in January 2018.
“Him mother nuh send him go a school none at all, and that is the reason why him woulda deh here to pick up my nephew from school. Usually him woulda drop mi nephew off at the step, but this time him tell mi mother seh he would go change him clothes,” the woman alleged.
She said her nephew gave his family a graphic account of the alleged molestation, after which the little boy’s family questioned the teenager to determine the veracity of the claim.
The teenager, she said, denied the story. But the four-year-old boy’s father grew angry and stepped toward the teenager to hit him. However, the man’s wife stepped between them and told the teen to run, which he did.
The matter was reported to the police and the teenager taken into custody. However, that, according to the woman, started a bitter feud between the two families.
She said that since the teen was arrested, and despite a condition of his bail being that he should not stay in the community, he was spotted numerous times “re-traumatising” her nephew.
She said it took more than a week for the police to come and remove the teen, after a number of calls were made to the police.
“You see the two other siblings [for the teen], every time dem see the father dem seh, ‘A gunshot yuh a go get,’ ” so they provoked the man! And him lick one with a shovel and cut one with a knife,” the aunt said.
After going to court for approximately four years the father was eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison.
She said the family would like to appeal the decision but finding the money is a challenge.
Observer has learnt that the molestation case is still ongoing.
The four-year-old boy’s mother said her son is heartbroken by the sentence.
“I think my son is still out of it. When he heard about the sentence he thought that he [the father] would be coming [home] on the 15th of July. So, you know I had to get him in that comfort zone and explain to him,” the mother said as she tried to hold back tears, adding that she doesn’t want her son to be grown before his father is back in his life.
“What happened was shocking. Mi still nuh really a tek it good. There hasn’t been a moment through the day when mi nuh try to call to God. Him [the father] seh him alright. Him seh him commit the crime but the punishment is severe, but him defend him son so he’s okay. It gives him comfort to know that he protected his son,” the mother said.
She believes, though, that her husband did not get a fair trial because the policemen who made the arrest allegedly had connections with the family of the teenage boy.
She said before the sentence was read she went to the Independent Commission of Investigations and other relevant authorities for assistance but was not successful.
“His arresting officer, during the whole incident he was always the first police on the scene if we had any confrontation,” she said, explaining that the cop is stationed at a police station miles away from her community over which another police station has jurisdiction.
She said that the judge was very surprised to see this “high-ranking” police officer in charge of a wounding with intent case.
“When the judge saw him she said, ‘What are you doing here?’ ” the wife told the Observer, adding that the judge asked the cop why he didn’t allow the police who have responsibility for the community where the problem exists to do their work.
The wife said the policeman responded that the cops from that station “are incompetent and unable to carry out their duties”.
Meanwhile, the wife said she is hoping that she can find the money to start the appeal process.