Mother of 8 jailed for chopping woman

Lelieth Monique Welcome, 36, will serve 19 months in prison for chopping a woman in the head with a meat cleaver.

The incident occurred in July at a restaurant owned by Welcome and her husband. Welcome attacked the woman after she saw her husband sitting on her lap.

She was charged with one count of grievous bodily harm, to which she pleaded guilty.

“It is very rare that a defendant appears before the courts having ticked all the wrong boxes,” said defence attorney Crister Brady. “We have a mother of eight … who suffers from mental and personality disorders.”

When delivering her sentencing judgment, Acting Justice Marlene Carter said, “This court has the arduous task of trying to balance the need for justice with the need for mercy.”

A social inquiry report revealed the defendant was “beaten with a mop stick, broomstick, barbed wire, and even a frying pan”. In the report, she recalled being beaten in a bathtub as a child, while her mother stepped on her throat.

The judge noted, “What we have before the courts is an abused child who grew up to become an abusive adult.”

The court heard that Welcome has 29 previous convictions, five of which were assault charges, and that the incident occurred while she was serving a three-month suspended sentence.

In a victim impact report, the injured woman, 22, said, “I now have a permanent scar, which is the first thing people see. It’s hard because they always ask how I got it and then I have to tell them the story.”

The judge said, “You have an extensive criminal record. The social inquiry report also indicates that you do not do well with community-imposed orders.”

She added, “However, you have expressed genuine remorse for your actions. You also apologised to the victim and she accepted it. Furthermore, you also entered a guilty plea during your first Grand Court appearance, for which you will receive full credit.”

With a starting point of a 30-month prison sentence, the judge reduced it to 19 months.

Welcome has been behind bars since the incident. She was remanded into custody, and the time already served is to be deducted from her sentence.