Ex-prison officer denies abuse of baby, stepson

A former prison officer was yesterday charged with assaulting an eight month-old-child and threatening his 19-year-old stepson.

Anthony Francisco, 42, pleaded not guilty to both charges and was released on a total of $20,000 bail.

It was alleged that on August 20, at Lot 158 Laing Avenue, Francisco unlawfully assaulted the child and at the same place he used threatening language to his stepson, Travis Williams.

At his arraignment yesterday before Magistrate Faith McGusty at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, an articulate Francisco asked to be heard and said that he is well aware of domestic violence in Guyana and that it is the reason why he would never do such a thing to a child. He added that he did not curse nor threaten his stepson.

Attorney Paul Fung-A-Fat, who sought bail for Francisco, said that his client now sells scrap metal for a living, since he is no longer a prison officer.

Prosecutor Seon Blackman said that it was reported by Francisco’s stepson that on two occasions the man mishandled the eight-month old child by cuffing, kicking and throwing him down.  However, Francisco who was near tears, said that his stepson was only concocting a false scenario and added that he has been against him for years.

The mother of the eight-month-old child said that she never witnessed Francisco ill-treating her child, since she is at work most of the times. She, however, admitted to Francisco placing the child on the ground after the child had vomited on one occasion.

When asked by Magistrate McGusty whether she ever noticed any marks of violence on the child’s body, she said no.  She also said that since the allegation, she had taken the child to the hospital to be checked out and the results showed that her child has never been injured.

As a result, Francisco was granted $10,000 bail for each charge.

The case is fixed to be called again on September 4.

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