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Convicted mom applies to have bail reduced
Pregnant mother of nine Kezi Doughty remains in jail one week after being granted $50,000 bail. However, her attorney, Peter Taylor, will be applying to a judge in chambers on Friday to have the bail reduced since, he said, the 33-year-old woman was unable to access it. “The requirement for approval by the Clerk of the Peace is proving onerous,” Taylor said.
Last week the attorney-at-law filed an appeal against San Fernando magistrate Alicia Chankar’s June 28 decision to jail Doughty for five months and fine her $3,000. She jailed the woman after convicting her of willfully abandoning five of her children to cause injury to their health.
The incident occurred on June 10 last year at her King’s Wharf, San Fernando home and involved Doughty’s children aged six months to eight years-old. She was arrested after two of her children were found wandering in the street half-naked. Yesterday Taylor, speaking with the T&T Guardian in a telephone interview, said he filed the bail application in the Hall of Justice and it will be heard before Justice Maria Wilson in the Sixth Criminal Court at 9 am.
He indicated that attorney Penelope Beckles, a former PNM minister, has joined Doughty’s legal team and she will be making the application on Friday for the bail reduction. “Ms Beckles has been added to the team because of her extensive experience working with women’s rights and rights of the child,” he said. She is also a former president of the Rape Crisis Centre.
Taylor said he is concerned about what will happen to Doughty’s children, all of whom have been made wards of the State until they attain the age of 16. He pointed to the United Nations conventions on the rights of the child to which T&T are signatories.
“It is not sufficient for any judicial officer to simply declare children wards of the State until 16. Consideration has to be given to the rights of a child enshrined in the UN conventions. It must mean more than the right of mere existence. It must speak to his or her quality of life,” Taylor said.
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