A 39-year-old mother of five was yesterday remanded to prison by Magistrate Priya Beharry at the Providence Magistrate’s Court on a charge of child neglect.
It was alleged that Babita Baram, of Herstelling Sea Dam Squatting Area, neglected her eight-year-old daughter on February 18, 2008.
According to the probation report presented by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, the woman, who is an alcoholic, would physically and verbally abuse her child as a norm. She would also leave the child without food on numerous occasions.
According to the social worker, Ms Concheta Grey, the Ministry had received reports from concerned neighbours in the community about the woman’s behaviour towards her children, especially the eight-year-old.
Ms Grey explained to Kaieteur News yesterday that the woman was arrested, charged and placed into police custody pending a probation report.
She said after the report was done they found a substantial amount of information which could make Baram serve a jail sentence.
“Whenever this woman drinks alcohol this would be her behaviour towards the child,” disclosed Grey.
When asked about the living conditions that the child has to endure, the social worker said that it was modest, noting that it was because of the mother’s working history.
The social worker said that most times Baram is under the influence of alcohol.
The abused child is currently in the protection of Social Services and would remain there for some time.
Meanwhile, the mother has been remanded for a month.
Grey told this newspaper that while the mother is in prison she would definitely receive counselling. Another social worker would be visiting Baram while she is incarcerated.
Grey also noted that “even after the woman is released from prison she would be required to attend counselling classes along with Alcoholics Anonymous classes for her drinking habits.”
The Social Worker further explained that the Ministry is warning and urging parents who behave like this mother to get counselling and curb their behaviour, since the Ministry would not be taking instances like this lightly.
Grey said that “neighbours are also urged not to turn a blind eye when a child is being abused, since they can also be accessory to the abuse.”
The mother is required to be present in court on March 24, 2009.
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