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Troubled teen released from custody

Pregnant at 12; abused as a child
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A 17-year-old mother of two who has been in custody since Carnival Monday, after she exposed her breasts during J’Ouvert celebrations, was yesterday released into the care of her mother. The girl had pleaded guilty to the charge, but was kept in custody because the magistrate was concerned about her “outrageous” living arrangements. Her sentence was suspended pending a probation officer’s report.



San Fernando Sixth Court magistrate Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds was alarmed after she found out that at eight years old the girl was burnt in a fire at her home. She never attended a secondary school after passing the Secondary Entrance Assessment examination because she became pregnant at 12. 



She now has two children aged four and eight and was involved in a common-law relationship. At the last court hearing, the magistrate knocked a probation officer’s report which said the girl’s common-law husband was willing to have her stay with him. Yesterday, the girl’s mother was in court. The girl told the magistrate she wanted to see her children. She told the girl she must understand that her common-law relationship was completely inappropriate.


The magistrate said the girl deserved a much better life. She was supposed to finish school, fall in love and learn what it was to develop as a woman, the magistrate said. She told the girl to behave herself and slow down her life, which had been fast-tracked. The magistrate said she would prefer if the children visited the girl at the mother’s home. PC Helen Straiker was commended by the magistrate for doing a remarkable job in community policing.


As it might not be possible for her to start school right now, the magistrate told the girl to get a job. Apart from being placed on a bond, in the sum of $200, in the care of her mother, the magistrate also enforced a 7 pm to 5 am curfew and Straiker said she would check on the girl at nights. The matter was adjourned to May 27.


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