(Trinidad Guardian) A 44-year-old father was granted $50,000 bail when he appeared in court charged with willfully neglecting a two-year-old boy.
Nkori Matthews pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Margaret Alert in the Siparia Magistrates Court on Monday.
But after contradicting the prosecution’s case against him, he pleaded not guilty. Matthews was accused of leaving the child alone at his Abby Street, South Oropouche home on December 2.
The child’s uncle reported the incident to the Oropouche Police Station.
Cpl Taylor of the Child Protection Unit was appointed to investigate. Police checks showed that the boy’s mother is currently abroad in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. The child is now in the custody of other relatives.
Taylor charged Matthews under Section 4 (1) (a) of the Children’s Act, which stated that where a person has responsibility for a child and wilfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or exposes the child or causes or procures the child to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed in a manner likely to cause that child suffering or injury to his physical, mental or emotional health, he or she is liable on summary conviction, to a fine of $5,000 and to imprisonment for six years or on conviction on indictment, to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for ten years.
The matter has been adjourned to January 7, next year.