Leonora girl was not burnt by stepfather
– marks were from skin fungus, not burns
A stepfather who was accused of burning his step-daughter’s leg with hot oil has been exonerated after a medical examination found that the ‘burn’ marks were but fungus, commonly called ‘lotta.’
The accusation against the man was carried in Kaieteur News of January 15, 2012, in an article titled ‘Father accuses stepfather of abusing daughters.’
Kaieteur News apologises to the mother of the children, Bissoondai Haypatty, a teacher at the Uitvlugt Primary School, and their stepfather Basdeo, a police officer, for any embarrassment or inconvenience the publication may have caused.
Haypatty contacted this publication and provided evidence to prove that the marks on her daughter’s leg were not burn marks. In fact, the medical from the hospital stated that the marks were as a result of skin fungus (black lata).
“I would never allow my children to be harmed by anyone. From the night I left I went back and kept fighting for my children. I have them now and would not allow anyone to hurt them. They are always in my presence at home or anywhere we go,” said the girls’ mother.
She explained that for years she suffered in her marriage with the children’s father, but fled for her life three years ago.
She had received severe beatings from her former husband and had to jump over their fence to escape, leaving her two young daughters behind for that night.
Haypatty made a report at the Leonora Police Station the said night and the man was charged with assaulting her. The mother returned the following day for her children only to be told that she couldn’t collect them.
After a long custody battle she was finally granted the rights to have her daughters with her. The father was allowed to have his children with him on weekends.
Singh allegedly continues to harass Haypatty although they are no longer married.
“He has been calling me and telling me how he will destroy my present marriage and such. When the article was published in your papers he called to tell me he will make my husband and me leave.”
The Children’s Legal Aid Clinic of Guyana also contacted Kaieteur News and strenuously objected to the publishing of the child’s photograph in the previous article.
The agency has also provided evidence to support the fact that Haypatty suffered years of abuse from the children’s father. It also provided evidence contrary to claims of the father.