Abusive father to spend 27 years behind bars
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May 28, 2024

Abusive father to spend 27 years behind bars

A 29 year old man was sentenced to prison for attempting to drown his three year old child, and for imposing “severe” disciplinary sanctions on her because she was not potty-trained.

The defendant appeared at the High Court before Justice Richard Floyd who presided over the court virtually, on May 23, 2024, where he was sentenced for committing seven criminal offences against his three year old daughter. He was charged that within the years of 2020 and 2021 he committed one count of attempted murder; four counts of grievous bodily harm; one count of indecent assault; and one count of failure to provide the necessaries of life to his daughter who is now six years old.

Justice Floyd said that the child’s mother is 23 years old. However, the mother is illiterate, and does not know what year she and her daughter were born. The mother and her child lived in a one-room house with the defendant. There are no sanitation facilities in the home, so the family bathed in a river and used their neighbour’s toilet.

The facts also revealed that the mother was involved with the defendant for a few months. He beat and abused both the child and her mother. He imposed “severe” disciplinary sanctions on the child, causing the mother to grow fearful. During the time of the abuse the child would defecate and urinate on herself. As a result, the father held his daughter by her hands and threw her into the deepest part of a fast-flowing river.

The child screamed. A man who witnessed the incident rushed and saved the child. There were marks about the toddler’s body that appeared to be fresh. The father also tied the child to the roof of a building and used a lighter to burn her on the area of her vagina and buttocks. The defendant also burned the baby on the soles of her feet.

He instructed the mother not to feed the child. However, the mother gave the child hot cocoa. The child barely consumed solid food. The mother did not give the child a biscuit when the child desired it because the defendant knew how many biscuits were there. He also choked the child, slammed her to the ground, threw stones at her, tied her in a stroller, and inserted his finger and a pencil into the child’s pubic area.

The defendant’s actions were reported to the police on August 3, 2021, and the child was medically examined the following day. There were scars about the child’s body, including her back, buttocks and abdomen. There also were lesions to the child’s wrist, second degree burns about her body, and tenderness in her vagina.

The man was arrested on August 6, 2021. A social inquiry report on him presented in court revealed that he was subjected to corporal punishment in his home.

When sentencing, Justice Floyd considered that the defendant had no previous convictions; he pleaded guilty; and had spent two months and 15 days on remand. The maximum sentence for attempted murder is life imprisonment, or 30 years imprisonment. The judge considered the vulnerability of the child; that the offence was planned; and that the man abused his position of trust.

He also considered that the child was in the company of her mother before being thrown into the river. He then sentenced the defendant to 15 years and four months in prison for attempted murder. The maximum sentence for grievous bodily harm is 14 years imprisonment. The judge noted that the child was bound; tied and essentially hung up; locked up alone in the shack; and was confined to her stroller. He sentenced the abuser to eight years and four months imprisonment on each count of grievous bodily harm.

These sentences are to run concurrent with each other, but consecutive to the sentence for attempted murder, resulting in a total sentence of 23 years and eight months imprisonment. The maximum sentence for the offence of indecent assault is five years imprisonment. Justice Floyd considered the psychological harm and humiliation that the defendant caused his daughter.

He also considered that the defendant made contact with his daughter’s genitalia. He then sentenced the man to three years and four months for indecent assault. This sentence is to run consecutively with the previous offence, resulting in a total of 27 years imprisonment. The maximum sentence for the offence of failure to provide necessaries to his child is five years.

Justice Floyd considered that the child was restricted and detained. He then sentenced the defendant to one year imprisonment for the offence of failing to provide necessaries to his child. This sentence is to run concurrently with the previous sentences. His final sentence therefore is 27 years in prison.

Representing the case for the Crown was Director of Public Prosecutions, Sejilla McDowald and Crown Counsel Maria Jackson-Richards. Representing the accused was lawyer, Carl Williams.