Sase Gunraj, the lawyer defending Fatima Martin who was sentenced to 60 months in prison for assaulting a one-year-old baby, says that his client suffered a lot of trauma while in prison and was taken to a safe place upon her release.
The 19-year-old nanny was released on Thursday and carried away by her family, pending an appeal of her sentence which was handed down last Friday in a Magistrate’s Court.
She was given the maximum sentence for inflicting grievous bodily harm on the baby, who is the child of Magistrate Geeta Chandan-Edmond and Attorney-at-Law Joel Edmond. Human rights activists have called the sentence “biased” and in favour of the Edmonds.
When asked about the assault allegations Martin has levelled against her former employers, Gunraj said, “We didn’t want to trouble her with those issues because of the trauma she has suffered in the prison for the last few days.”
Martin’s 60-month sentence sparked a protest by three NGOs on Monday, coinciding with a Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) workshop for jurists.
Martin’s appeal was filed by Gunraj on Tuesday on the grounds that the decision of the magistrate who handed down the sentence was ‘wrong, erroneous and misconceived in law’. Her application for bail was heard and accepted in the High Court by Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang.
In an official statement, the teen alleged that she was assaulted by her former employers after admitting she had hit the child. Martin said she was beaten in the presence of a police officer while she was giving her statement. Martin also stated that a police officer had told her to plead guilty.
The Edmonds have denied the teen’s allegations while Magistrate Sueanna Lovell, who handed down the penalty, has stood by her decision.