A man accused of injuring his 5-year-old son by beating him in the face with a piece of stick was hauled before the Magistrate’s Court yesterday, February 23.
The 26-year-old accused, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the child, is charged with cruelty to a child.
The infant is said to have suffered a gash above his right eye, and weals about his body as a result of the alleged beating.
Allegations are that, on September 2 last year, the child’s mother – who is no longer in a relationship with the accused – called the accused and asked him to babysit their son.
It is reported that the woman took her child to the accused man’s residence on September 4.
The following day, she called the accused to ‘check up’ on the child.
The accused told her that he had to discipline the child whom he said was rude and had urinated on the floor.
It is being reported that, when the woman told the accused that she would collect their son the following day, the accused stated that he wanted to take the boy to the beach.
The woman however insisted that she needed to prep the boy for school, which was being opened the next day.
The court heard that the accused didn’t take the child to the mother. He also did not answer any of her calls, the court was further told.
The woman subsequently had one of her friends call the accused, who was instructed to drop off the child at his grandfather’s house.
The accused reportedly made excuses that he could not drop off the child. He eventually complied.
When the woman met her infant son, she observed a fresh cut above his eye as well as markings on his face and back.
The boy reportedly told her that his father had beaten him for being ‘bad’.
The father however claimed that the boy fell while at the beach.
When the boy went to school the following day, a teacher saw the injuries and the boy told her that he was beaten.
She subsequently alerted the authorities.
During a police interview, the youngster reportedly said his father had beaten him with a piece of stick and a belt.
The five-year-old reportedly explained that he, his accused father, and their dog went to the beach.
While there, he released the dog because it became too much for him to handle.
He reportedly told police that his father retrieved a piece of stick and struck him in the face and about his body because he had released the animal.
The boy said he started to bleed.
When the police asked if he fell at any time that day, the infant said no.
He also told police that his father hit him with a belt for ‘peeing on the bed and floor’.
When asked if he was instructed to lie about his injuries, the infant reportedly said: “Nobody tell me what to tell the police.”
The father was subsequently charged.
In court, the accused said: “I didn’t hit my son with a stick… I spank him with my hand.”
“The marks that [the prosecution] is talking about; that didn’t come for my hands,” he further told Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste Dabreo.
He maintained that the boy was injured while they were taking a ‘shortcut’ to the beach.
“I didn’t see when he fell. I only hear when he bawl out… I would never do that to him,” added the father.
He is scheduled to return to court on March 17.
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