The shoe is on the other foot in a case in which a father of four is seeking an arrest warrant for his reputed wife, who has defaulted in her affiliation (child support) for their three children.
The woman was ordered by a magistrate to pay $1500 per child per week, but for the past 14 weeks she has not done so.
Her reputed husband, Betrand Thorne, who has custody of three of the couple’s four children, told Kaieteur News that had it been the other way around, he is sure that the police would have acted promptly.
While Thorne’s case may seem strange, this newspaper understands that there are several women who have been ordered by the local courts to financially support their children who have been left with their fathers.
In almost all of these cases, the fathers are incapacitated and cannot work to provide for the minors who were left in their care.
Such is the case with Thorne who suffers from severe ulcers, which sometimes leave one of his feet so inflamed that he has to be hospitalised.
Six years ago, Thorne’s reputed wife moved out of their home, leaving behind the couple’s four children, including a 10-month old boy.
“I keep looking at them until she came back in 2004. I was in a lot of pain and I told her that I can’t keep these children up because it (the pain) was more than me,” Thorne said.
Eventually, the children went with their mother, but according to Thorne, they were not being properly cared for and he decided to take back his young son on October 31, 2004.
Later that evening, his reputed wife turned up at his home with two of their other children.
“She came with the other two children and say, ‘look back your children’,” Thorne told this newspaper.
Although he knew that it would have put a strain on him, he willingly accepted the children, since they were his and there was no way he was going to neglect them.
“I say ‘God, I gon look at these children and you gun look at the foot. Whatever it is, I can’t do nothing more but look at these children.’ And from then I keep going with these children all the time,” the father said.
From time to time, Thorne would fall sick and would be hospitalised, forcing him to place the children in the temporary care of their mother.
He said though that during these periods, he would ensure that he provides her with whatever financial assistance he is capable of.
However, on one occasion, he failed and this led to his reputed wife taking out a summons in the court to compel him to support his children, who were with her at the time in 2005.
Thorne said he complied with the court order and made every effort to secure the $4000 per week for his four children.
Thorne recovered from his illness to a point where he started selling at a stall in a city market and took his children back to live with him.
He admitted that his reputed wife would from time to time leave a ‘small piece’ for the children, but that was not enough to send them to school.
Eventually, the children were back with him as their mother left Guyana for Barbados and apart from a few ‘raises’ now and then, she contributed nothing to their upkeep.
“I keep trying with them (children). It wasn’t easy but I kept trying, one night I asked her for $500, I had to sign a paper for it.”
During that time, the mother of Thorne’s children came home from Barbados and went back on a few occasions and he was left to fend for them by himself.
He eventually got the order for his payment of child support removed, since the children were solely in his care.
He was also granted full custody of his children by the High Court with reasonable access to them by their mother.
In 2007, upon his reputed wife’s return to Guyana, Thorne approached the court seeking financial support from the children’s mother.
According to him, his wife did not challenge the move, but offered to pay a mere $500 per child.
The court however ordered that she pays $1500 per child.
“Right now she got 14 weeks payment outstanding. She started to pay but she stopped. I checked and no money was there, so is asked for a warrant and they issued me with a distress warrant,” Thorne said.
A source at the High Court told this newspaper that the police can act on the distress warrant and arrest the woman for the non-payment of the affiliation.
This newspaper understands that the woman has a fixed place of abode in Guyana, since she returned from Barbados.
“I tell the police if the situation was the reverse, I would not have been on the road. I would have been in the lock-ups,” Thorne said.
He strongly believes that the police are acting in a discriminatory manner because they are dealing with a female.
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