Last update: 18-Apr-2014 11:58 am
Friday, April 18, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Magistrate advises cocaine addict: Don’t drop your guard
Unemployed mother Andrea Moraldo who returned to court last Friday with her one-month-old baby was urged to continue fighting the cocaine demons. San Fernando Magistrate Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds complimented Moraldo, who has been attending drug rehabilitation classes, on her appearance. Moraldo has been taking her baby to court because she has no one to leave him with. She had pleaded guilty to cocaine possession a few weeks ago, but the magistrate deferred sentencing after hearing about her unfortunate circumstances.
Instead, the magistrate sent Moraldo, 37, to rehabilitation classes, and has been trying to help her piece her life together. Moraldo’s attorney Shaun Teekasingh said people are interested in helping her, but contacting Moraldo has been a difficult task since she does not own a cellphone. He said when he arranges for people to meet with Moraldo, she does not show up. The magistrate said Moraldo can’t afford to acquire one, but some co-ordinated effort has to be made to get one to her.
Moraldo, who was swaying baby Christopher, said she sometimes doesn’t have money to travel. Advising her to use the bus, the magistrate told her that she has to try to put away money to travel for those important meetings. Moraldo presented a book to the magistrate to show that so far she has attended two rehabilitation classes. She said she enjoyed them.
The magistrate remarked: “Since you have been coming to court you seem more lucid, you are speaking clearly, even your stature has changed. You look different. Obviously, you are beginning to separate yourself from your dreadful past...your dependency on cocaine.” However, Moraldo admitted that every morning is a struggle to stay clean.
The magistrate said: “Every single morning that is a struggle. Don’t drop your guard. The moment you drop your guard, the demons will come back.” The magistrate also inquired about efforts to get proper housing and social services for her. Teekasingh said he has made some effort, but Moraldo is required to have a national identification card to access those services. However, he said she has applied for it, but has to wait three to six weeks to get it.
The magistrate also advised Moraldo to get the birth of her child registered. She told Moraldo that she might not get all the help before the end of the month, but there is a lot of generosity stimulated this time of the year. The matter was adjourned to Friday.
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