West Berbice couple charged with child abuse, disorderly behaviour

A Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice couple yesterday appeared before the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court charged with neglecting and ill-treating their nine-year-old son and with disorderly behaviour.

The man and his wife were each placed on $30,000 bail after pleading not guilty to the charges read to them by Magistrate Rondell Weaver. They will return to court on October 22.

It is alleged that on Sunday, September 15, the duo ill-treated the child, a Canadian citizen, so as to cause unnecessary suffering to his health. It was also alleged that they behaved disorderly to the police and officers from the Child Care & Protection Agency (CCPA) on September 20 at Bush Lot.

In his application for bail, attorney-at-law, Perry Gossai told the closed court hearing that it was actually the police and the CCPA officers who misbehaved against his clients.

He submitted too that the two parties compelled the child, a Canadian citizen to say that his parents abused him. Gossai also argued that they did not have a warrant for his clients.

Police prosecutor, Corporal Orin Joseph informed the court that the child was examined by a doctor and marks of violence were visible.

He said that under the Child Protection Act the officers did not need a warrant as the act gave them the power to enter the premises and conduct investigations.

The man who was deported from Canada last November was locked up on Friday and his wife, a Canadian citizen with West Indian roots, stayed the night at the Fort Wellington Hospital with the child and his two-year-old brother.

She was taken into police custody the following morning while the children were placed in protective care.

The woman and the children had come to Guyana in November and left in February. They returned in May and since then the abuse of the children allegedly started but residents were afraid to intervene.

Reports are that two officers from the CCPA at Fort Wellington visited the home and told the parents about the allegations. They denied and requested that the officers produce their identification cards.

Stabroek News was told that when these were produced they reportedly dismissed them with crude language and continued to verbally abuse the officers with the man using expletives.

Even after a police officer joined the two female workers the couple allegedly refused to open the gate and continued the verbal abuse. The woman also ran down and placed a padlock on the gate when she saw the police officers in the van.

At one point the officers left the area and returned with back-up ranks and were also joined later by a senior officer who was in the area.

It was only then that the man started to calm down and around 3 pm the gate was opened and they were taken to the station.

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