Jan 26, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Ann Greene, in her capacity as Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA) and the agency – are being sued for in excess of $25 million for neglecting a 14-year-old girl in police custody for days where she endured inhumane and adult-like accommodation.
The third name respondent in the matter is the Attorney General (AG), Anil Nandlall, SC; he was listed as a respondent in the matter owing to CPA is not a statutory body corporate in the statute creating it, as a consequence, liability for it falls to the Attorney General as representative of the State.
According to the court document seen by this publication, at the time of the incident, the claimant was 14-years-old. The teen is being represented in the matter by her sister and a friend.
On behalf of the claimant, attorney-at-law Eusi Anderson filed the legal proceedings in the High Court. The claimant is seeking $25 million against Greene and the agency for negligence – in which they breached the duty of care owed to the claimant, imposed on them by the laws of Guyana. In addition, the claimant is also seeking the following: a declaration that CPA and Greene breached the statutory duty of care to the claimant imposed on them by, inter alia, the Childcare and Protection Agency ACT 2009, and the Juvenile Offenders Act, Chapter 10:03; another declaration that Greene and the agency breached the duty of care to the claimant imposed on them by virtue of Guyana’s accession to and ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Resolution No. 44/25 of 20 No. 1989.)
Exemplary and punitive damages for negligence in which Greene and CPA failed to remove the teen from the custody of the Commissioner of Police during the period December 4, to 7, 2020 after visiting her in his custody on December 3, and 4, 2020 – the claimant is also seeking cost, interest pursuant to the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act and such further or orders as the court deems just.
The document states that between December 3, and 7, 2020, the minor was held against her will and under arrest at the East La Penitence Police Station in a narcotics investigation – at the time of the arrest, the claimant was 14-years-old and 11 months.
The applicant is claiming that she spent five days in the prisoners’ cell at the police station with adult female prisoners. During that time, the document states that the teen was subjected to sleeping in an upright position on a wooden chair, sleeping on a mattress and cardboard on the cold concrete, sexual predatory advances by other prisoners, being foot cuffed to a wooden chair by her ankles for hours and infinite pain and trauma.
It was further stated that Greene and CPA were aware of the aforementioned transgressions except the sexual advances.
On December 7, 2020, a bail application and habeas corpus proceedings in favour of the claimant were filed and heard by the acting Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire. The Judge had ordered that the minor be released into the custody of Greene and CPA on December 7, 2020. It was further mentioned that the Greene and the agency had indicated to the Judge that they were aware of the teen’s detention and had even noted that officers from CPA had visited the teen while she was being kept at the station.
During the hearing, Greene had informed the court that efforts were being made to persuade the Commissioner of Police for the release of the teen into their custody since December 3, 2020.
“The first and second name defendants [Greene and CPA] had a primary duty; and the third named defendant [Attorney General], a secondary duty, to ensure that the statutory duty of care imposed by the Juvenile Offenders Act, the Rights of the Child Convention and the Child Care and Protection Agency Act 2009 on them, to the claimant, was discharged,” the document stated. To this end, without limitations, the statutory duties owed by the respondents to the claimants were highlighted to further support the claims that were made.
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