Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
In a matter that sent chills through the courtroom, a father of a 5 year-old boy is facing a charge of cruelty to a child, after he allegedly beat the child badly with a stick in his face and about his body.
The man made an appearance at the Magistrate’s Court yesterday, February 23, over which Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-Dabreo presided.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge, adding that he would never do his son what the allegations outline.
According to the allegations in the matter, on September 2, 2016, the mother of his child called him, requesting that he hold their son as she had to go to work and no one else was available.
It was recorded that the father was hesitant at first, but soon after agreed due to the mother’s persistence.
The child was taken to the father’s home on the 4th, and was left with his grandmother (mother of the accused) as the accused was not home at the time.
The mother called the father later that evening to checkup and everything appeared to be fine, the court heard.
On the 5th, the mother called again to check up on how her son was doing, at which point she was informed by the accused that he had beat the child because he urinated on the floor.
The particulars revealed that he also told the mother the child was rude, he was not listening and that he is a handful.
The mother, under the notion that it was a little spanking, attempted to speak with the child, but he was not responding.
The following day, the mother spoke with the father, informing him to drop off the child at her workplace, as she had to prepare him for school the next day. The father refused and further informed her that he was taking his son to the beach.
Time approached and passed when she expected her son, and attempts to call the father from her phone were unsuccessful. She soon borrowed a friend's phone and dialed his number, to which he then responded and was instructed to take the child to his grandfather in Sea Cows Bay.
The fancé of the mother collected the child and immediately observed marks and swelling on his face.
After reaching home, in the presence of the mother, they observed a gash above his right eye, swelling about his face and marks and swelling about his body.
When questioned, the child told his mother that his father had beat him because he was bad.
Having gone to school the next day, the teacher also observed the marks and cuts on his face and questioned him as to what had happened.
The Social Development Department was subsequently contacted.
Under police questioning, the child told officers that his father had beaten him with a stick and a belt because while at the beach, he loosed his father’s dog, as he didn’t know how to hold it.
He explained that having loosed the dog, the father took a stick from the ground and beat him in his face and his body.
He added that his father has also hit him with a belt for peeing on the bed and the floor.
While addressing the court, the accused stated that he never hit his son with a stick, adding that he did spank him, but at that time he didn’t get any cuts.
“I spanked him on his buttocks because he peed on the bed and on the floor.”
The father told the court that prior to the beating, he tried to speak with the child, as he had realized his son was acting very strange, thus the numerous complaints to the mother on the phone.
He informed the court that the mark he is being blamed for was not from his hands. He added that on the way to the beach, he took a shortcut, at which time the child allegedly fell and hurt himself.
“I didn’t see when he fell, but I heard him bawl out.”
The accused is scheduled to make another appearance on March 17 for report, then on to trial.