A woman who beat her son with a broom and continued hitting him after it had broken was given a suspended sentence on Friday. The boy’s injuries included a broken arm.

The woman pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm to the boy, 14, after a trial date was already listed, Crown counsel Darlene Oko told Justice Michael Wood.

Defense attorney Martha Rankine asked the judge not to record a conviction because that could interfere with the woman’s employment chances. The woman was currently employed, but at minimum wage; as the single mother of three children, she would want the opportunity to obtain higher pay, the attorney explained. “Punishing the mother will punish the children,” she asserted.

Ms. Rankine pointed out that the law permits parents to administer punishment.

Justice Wood responded, “The law does not allow a parent to break a child’s arm.”

He read the documents in the case, including an agreed basis of facts. He said the mother had assaulted the boy in the house they shared. She became angry when he was not obeying. She got a belt and struck him on the shoulder and back. Then she struck him with a broom, which broke due to the ferocity of the blows.

She continued to hit him with the broken portion of the broom.

When seen by medical personnel, the boy had blood on his face, welts on the upper part of his body, a cut under his nose and a fracture of a bone in his arm.

“This went way beyond chastisement,” the judge told the defendant.

He considered the use of two weapons and the sustained nature of the assault and said the custody threshold had clearly been passed.

The judge said he was taking into account her age, previous good character and the fact that her husband was deceased.

If she had not pleaded guilty, the sentence would have been two years; with a discount for plea, the sentence he gave was 16 months, suspended for two years.

Told that the mother and child were reconciled, Justice Wood ordered her to continue her engagement with the Department of Children and Family Services and any parenting sessions deemed appropriate.

He warned that any further offense in the next two years would bring her back to court and she would almost certainly go to prison for that offense and this one.

“I’m glad to see you and your son are back together,” he told her.

The Cayman Compass is not reporting the woman’s name because doing so would identify the boy.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. How nice. The mother and child were reconciled. This warm loving mother broke her sons arm with malice, and they are reconciled. She beat him with a belt as well. Am I reading this correctly. What body part is next for her to break or maim. Do you think this child has a chance in heaven of growing up to be a kind and loving human being. He may very well return the behavior back at her. If I were this court, I would mandate court appointed visits weekly with this angry mother, and therapy, and meds would be the order of the day. Where is dear old dad. What is her history. What about the other kids in the family.

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  2. Could this issue help us to better understand some of the problems that is in todays society . Here we have a disobedient kid and the mother trying to correct his behaviour the wrong way . Maybe both of them needs behavior counseling . But I hope that the kid has learned that he should change his behaviour , because if he doesn’t he would be taking it to the streets then he would be dealt with by the Police and they don’t carry broomsticks .

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  3. Violence begets violence …and the standard nowadays in using excessive violence as a disciplinary measure to correct children’s behaviour is a criminal one.

    Parents, guardians and teachers who do not realise this and adhere to it will end up and jail…simple as.

    If you have to beat, brutalise and injure a 14 yro boy to get your message across…there is a whole lot missing in the 13+ years that’s gone on before….and possibly killing him with such a level of violence will not correct that.

    What if this broom stick had struck this kid in a vital or lethal place on his body with the same force it took to break his arm ?
    This could easily have ended up in a manslaughter case in that event.

    At 14, most kids nowadays will not accept that level of violence used against them anyway.

    This mother is lucky that this kid is not the type to retaliate against her…or we might be reading a different story.

    In any event, we hope they have both learned a lesson and that things will improve in their lives and relationship.

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    • She could be an overbearing mother or bipolar or unable to control her anger. We don’t know, therefore we cant give a sound advice here. What she did is despeakable. She needs help, her children need help, that is where community,churches could step in if they have an expertise. Judging is easy, helping takes time and effort.

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