An 11-month-old baby boy was rescued early yesterday morning from a rum shop where his 31-year-old mother was drinking when officers from the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) in Region Five made a sweep of the area.
The child was taken to Georgetown, while the mother, who had reportedly already consumed two bottles of red wine, was taken into police custody.
She may be charged with neglect and with assaulting one of the officers. According to reports, senior Probation & Social Services officer Dollette Nicholson received a call around 6 am yesterday from a resident, who had been told of the mother’s actions by the baby’s father and asked to make a report to the officers. Nicholson then contacted CC&PA officer Gloria Davidson and the two immediately headed to the location, where they found the woman with the baby in her arms as she consumed alcohol. She was also talking to the proprietress of the establishment, who encouraged her to cooperate with the officers, but she refused. As Davidson took possession of the baby, the woman reportedly became angry and abusive.
Nicholson held onto her in an effort to restrain her and stopped a minibus to take her to the station. During the journey, the woman reportedly tried to escape and yanked Nicholson’s hair in the process. Other female passengers in the bus had to help to restrain the woman.
The baby was first taken to the Fort Wellington Hospital, where he was examined. He appeared lethargic. Davidson tried to feed the baby some porridge but he hardly drank any.
Meanwhile, the officers had received a report about the same neglected child on Thursday. Davidson and another officer, Irene Thomas, visited the woman’s West Coast Berbice home that same day in company of a police officer.
However, the woman and her reputed husband locked the doors and loosed their dogs in the yard, preventing the officers from entering.
This newspaper was told that about three months ago, officers from the CC&PA had taken the baby away and placed her in the care of a maternal aunt.
The mother had visited the CC&PA office upon request along with the aunt but while waiting to see the officers she took the baby from the aunt and walked out.
In April 2011, a two-month-old baby and a five-year-old boy were taken from the woman after they were left unattended in a house. At the time, she was consuming alcohol in a rum shop.
The officers had found the baby on the floor, while his five-year-old brother was sitting in a chair drinking “sugar water” he had made himself, from an old margarine container.
There was nothing to eat in the one-bedroom shack, which was described as filthy, with tattered clothes scattered all over.
The officers picked up the children and were about to go and look for the mother when, having heard that they were at the house, she arrived back home.
Although she smelled of alcohol, she denied that she had been at the rum shop. But angry villagers had insisted that they had seen her drinking.
They had said too that she was in a habit of leaving the children alone at home and going out to drink.
Before that, the woman had also neglected two older children whom the state had placed in the custody of their paternal relatives.