Mother convicted over child beating

| 27/06/2017 | 64 Comments

(CNS): A woman who beat her son so badly with a belt and a broom that she broke his arm was given a suspended sentence of sixteen months by a Grand Court judge, following her conviction Friday. Miriam Cruz de Jackson pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm but insisted she had not intended to hurt her child, even though she beat him so hard the broom she used as a weapon on her 14-year-old boy broke as well as his arm. Her lawyer argued that the injury was an accident during a “routine chastisement”.

But a judge found that what the woman did went “way beyond” reasonable punishment and described her assault on her child as a “deeply unpleasant offence”, as he ruled on the sentence.

While the defence had tried to argue for a lesser sentence on the basis that it was not “illegal in Cayman to use corporal punishment” on children, Justice Michael Wood pointed out the law does not permit a parent to break a child’s arm. The judge said that Jackson cannot have believed that when she beat her child so hard that the broom broke that she was not causing harm to the boy.

The court heard that Jackson beat her son last summer when she became angry because he would not obey an instruction. She first chased the boy with a belt but he had managed to dodge the worst of those blows, so she added a broom to her arsenal of weapons to assault the child. She then proceed to strike the boy so much and so hard that the broom broke but she continued to assault him with the broken handle. The boy sustained cuts and bruises as well as the broken arm.

The judge said Jackson was “clearly reckless” in the punishment using two weapons. He said that when she continued to use the broom even after it broke, she must have appreciated the harm she was likely to cause her son. “You are a mother and you abused your position of trust,” the judge said. “He should have been able to look to you for protection, not be assaulted with weapons.”

Despite the severity of the offence, there were a number of mitigating factors, including her good character, the fact that as a widow she is the sole breadwinner for her three children, and her guilty pleas. The judge therefore suspended the sixteen-month jail term and ordered that Jackson work with the Department of Children and Family Services and take parenting classes. He also warned Jackson that if she commits any other offence, she will go to jail to serve this term.

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Comments (64)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Caymankind indeed

  2. Anonymous says:

    The amount of people on here who condone beating a child is disturbing. Look at ya, education is key.

  3. Voice of Reason says:

    How are we better as a community if the only thing we have to offer to a mother who is clearly in over her head is prison? Before I go any further let me clarify my position, she was wrong to even consider using a broom on her child. But did anybody apart from the judge stop to consider the position this woman is in being a single parent of three children while working minimum wage? Can you imagine for a second her frustration having to do it all on her own, trying to make ends meet when you’re drawing short straws, then to come home and face a disobedient child? Automatically our hearts go out to the child because of the magnitude of his injuries, but had she not try to discipline her child and allow him to roam the streets we would be singing a different tune. Her approach to parenting was clearly wrong but the instincts of a mother are evident. If a child is not taught to respect authority at home they will not respect it on the streets. That is where the community as a whole should be tripping over itself to assist not only the mother but the child. Instead of recommending prison shouldn’t we recommend that a neighbor watch the children for an hour to allow the mother to catch her breath after work and we wouldn’t end up this far down the road? Instead of criticizing the mother for abusing her child shouldn’t we educate her on effective methods of parenting? Just by helping this one person we could make three precious lives a whole lot better. I would be grateful if Caymanians could revive the true spirit of citizenship and instead of oiling the gates of Northward and jingling the keys of persecution we could actually work together to make each life matter!

    • Anonymous says:

      I appreciate your empathy but why keep having children when you have no means to support them nor the mentality to raise them without that kind of violence. Taking out your frustrations on a child is not the way to raise a kind hearted child. Jeepers. Count to ten. Use your fingers to count if you’re not sure how.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are a lot of us single mothers doing it on our own. And most of us face disobedient children. That doesn’t give us the right to break their bones. She should be in prison.

    • Anonymous says:

      Such a good comment. I do hope that the mother takes advantage of any parenting programme that is on offer from many of our churches (St. Georges Anglican has a very effective programme) and does get the help that she needs.

    • Anonymous says:

      This woman did not discipline her child, she assaulted him. There is absolutely no justification for this physical abuse — none. Beating a child is no way to teach them respect of authority; it teaches the child to beat upon people if you don’t get your own way. There is ample evidence to suggest that those who are physically abused as children become abusers as adults. The judge got the balance of this case absolutely right.

  4. Anonymous says:

    She should have gone to prison for the rest of her life.

  5. Anonymous says:

    These unruly kids need and good spanking but a broom is not the way to do it get a belt.

  6. Anonymous says:

    She was following the Bible….spare the rod etc etc. So why do we believe the crap written there about gays?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you cannot make a sensible comment, it would be better to say nothing at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Answer the question, 5:34. Or are you one of the many that like to cherry pick the bits of the Bible you want to believe and ignore the other bits that don’t fit with your beliefs, prejudices etc.

        • Anonymous says:

          But tell me, why does the bible tell you if you spare the rod you shall spoil the child? And also, does it literally mean a rod? I think many shallow minds for far too long have been interpreting the bible literally and at their own detriment.

          When Adam and Eve ate the “forbidden” fruit; were they eating any fruit literally? Or having sex! Think about it.

          Think for God sake. Pun intended. I tell you what I think about this particular case.

          Frustrated, unstable mother, taking out her frustrations on her own child.

          You shouldn’t have to spank a 14 year old. You talk to them. This woman abused her son and could have easily killed him, because she needs help!

          To me, using this case as an excuse to denounce the bible is pretty pathetic. Do I agree with all of the bible….I do not. I believe it is possible that a lot of the material has been manipulated and exaggerated at times for various reasons unknown to most of us. However, you can think and analyse and come to your own conclusion.

          • Anonymous says:

            Crappyola. Now you got me thinking about Adam and Eve having sex.

          • Anonymous says:

            How do know you know when to interpret the Bible literally or metaphorically?

            According to most devout believers who don’t take every word of the Bible literally claim the Bible is metaphorical so couldn’t that also entail God isn’t literally real but just a word used metaphorically…

        • Anonymous says:

          Booya! Well said, 1:08.

    • Anonymous says:

      What has this got to do with the bible or gays.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Some people do not deserve children. Such a shame how so many people who would be great parents cannot have children and those who never should can.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s because there is no god.

      • Sharkey says:

        Anonymous 7:21pm, have you ever hear or know that babies / infants can be born with deficiencies/inability an so many more problems, you should know because God creation brought you and everyone else in the world the way we are .

        Sad to say but that’s why the world is so messed up, is because we’re not all made alike but God created us all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, I just love these statements; “there is no God”. LMAO

        Well, please do share with us how human beings were created…the Earth too while you’re at it and the Universe….

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s a scientist thing…..You wouldn’t understand.

          • Anonymous says:

            Ahhh, it’s a scientist thing.

            Interesting. I tell you what, ask Stephen Hawkins why he recalled his life’s work on the “universe”, “galaxies”, “blackholes” etc.

            He admitted he was wrong about everything and has to start over. All those years of hard work…trying to figure out God’s work.

            Only to find out you were wrong all along.

            I leave you with two great quotes from one of THE greatest physicists of all time: Albert Einstein

            “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

            “Before God we are all equally wise – and equally foolish.”

            Sounds like that genius believed in a higher power. And let’s face it, he was 10 times smarter than you and I put together.

            Peace!

    • Anonymous says:

      @4.53pm
      “great parents” to be are great only hypothetically, wait until they become parents.

      Many women who can’t get pregnant fit in this scenario:

      “A young girl is born. She is a difficult child. Fussy eater, poor sleep pattern, lots of colds. She loves chicken and craves chocolate. She has trouble with her periods from almost the onset of menstruation. They are irregular and painful and she suffers PMT. Her doctor puts her on the oral contraceptive to suppress ovulation and this seems to quieten things down. Eventually she comes off the pill to start a family. Her periods take 6 months to resume and they are worse than ever. She has trouble conceiving because the pill has depleted her zinc levels. She is low in progesterone and loses a few pregnancies at multiples of 4 weeks (4, 8, 12, 16). She eventually gets pregnant but her copper accumulates and she develops postnatal depression. Her baby is zinc deficient and probably has excess copper.

      She tries for another baby but this time she can’t because she’s developed endometriosis. Answer: the oral contraceptive. She starts to gain weight, starts to get depressed, then her skin changes. Her face develops a reddish tinge. Then she develops anxiety symptoms. She is told this is anxiety/panic disorder causing her depression and is put onto antidepressants, but these don’t help her tiredness. Then she finds out that she’s iron deficient, but she can’t raise her iron levels with supplements. Then she’s told she’s got an under active thyroid and needs thyroid replacement. Still no real improvement in energy.

      After a few years of this purgatory of health, she goes off the pill and develops heavy periods. She finds out that now she also has fibroids and consents to hysterectomy. Then she discovers that her Estrogen levels are low. Then the punch line. “You don’t have uterus, therefore you don’t need progesterone”. She starts Estrogen only HRT. Despite complaining of breast tenderness, she is told to continue. One day one of the painful lumps in her breast is brought to her doctor’s attention. She has a mammogram, then a biopsy. The pathology shows breast cancer. She has a lumpectomy with axillary node clearance. Her tumour is Estrogen receptor positive. So then it starts. Chemo then tamoxifen. Five years later she gets a terrible pain in the back. She has spinal metastases. More chemo. Then liver secondaries.

      Sorry, not much more medicine can do, we’ve really done our best. We’ve followed the book; every single health recommendation. Oh, and by the way, don’t go near those natural therapists. They have no idea of how to help you. End of story.

      This case represents the full house of Xenoestrogens symptoms, and unfortunately many of the patients with breast cancer have some version of this story. ” (Taken from book Nutritional Medicine: Fact & Fiction)

      • Anonymous says:

        Wut? What does this have to do with a wicked woman beating her child to the point that she broke his arm?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, 4:53, spit them out every nine months for a different man so they can be a burden on our social services and prison while the slack mother and the politicians who love to capitalize on this sort of thing complain that furriners are taking all the jobs and Caymanians can’t get ahead. So sickening.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow – this is so very disturbing to say the least!!!

    My heart goes out to this precious child – I pray that God will protect him from any future harm. I hope that his mother seeks proper help, and NEVER EVER does anything like this again to either of her children.

    I also hope that the mother has explained to her son that what she did to him was wrong, and that she’s promised him that she would never hurt him again!

    Let’s pray for this family!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Should be illegal to beat up your kid. There is no evidence that corporal punishment works. The threat of punishment should have your kid scared enough but in this backwards country and Jamaica it’s acceptable.

    In Canada you would be sent to jail for Child Abuse in two seconds if you even put a bruise on your kid let alone to break an arm.

    • Anonymous says:

      In some parts of Canada it’s legal for girls to consent to sex at the age of 14. That’s too early in my humble opinion.

      And in this case, this is considered child abuse; if you know anything about Cayman, laws are not the issue per-say but the act of enforcing them is. So yeah, what she did was illegal…

    • Anonymous says:

      In Canada you can’t feel anything through all that wool. No wonder it does’t work.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Abuse among the children is common in cayman now a days, coming from a abusive parent. They’re not much the law does for us.

    Yet again this system is a joke and fails us all over and over again.

    Theres a difference between discipline and abuse!

    This woman deserves prison

  11. Anonymous says:

    This story as left me with very mix emotions, and the reason for this this is because I am former crime fighter in the Cayman islands, so I am aware of number of teenagers within your correctional facility and the contribution parents play with there behaviour, however I understand the law’s perspective and what is deem to far”

    You know as a child growing up my mother told me a very important story, that never leave me. I would like to share it with you and allow you draw your own conclusion on this matter.

    ” there was a young man, mid 20’s now facing the gallows, for the crimes he have committed, and while on the stand, he was asked by his executioner if he had any last words, and he simple replied yes, I would like to say something to my mother in her ears, his last request was granted and is mom was allow enter, and he whispered soft in her ears, that if you hand bend me when i was doing wrong I would not be standing here today, then he bit of her ear.”

    So many of our parents today, have save the rod and decide the spoil the child. I am very please that the judge was able to give a warning to other parents as to go far you can go with scolding a child, but he did not allow the child in this case to win. A few years ago, I was in fosters, the chips section and lady with a little 5 year old, she took a chips and the mom said no she cant have that one, and that child went off, I’m going to tell daddy,and began throwing herself on floor, to my surprise and to appease her the mom took the chips and place it in the basket.

    The sad thing is this where parenting as reach in our beloved cayman islands.. I salute the judge for seeing the serious of the act by the mother, but also understanding the teaching of the act.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you hit a child it only teaches them that they are allowed to hit people whenever they annoy you. Hitting a child only works for that moment in time, it does not have any long lasting impact, except possibly through fear and anxiety. Parents need to find other ways to discipline their children. If you are a firm parent, that has clear bondaries and are consistent ( do what they say you will do) then children will learn without the need to hit them, Hitting will never be the answer. It hurts yes and that might be a deterrent, but has the child learnt anything? Do they know why they aren’t allowed to do those things? If the child does the same bad thing again and again why do parents insist that hitting them works. It doesn’t! the child needs to be taught how to behave, literally TAUGHT. Model it to them, show them what sitting nicely at the dinner table looks like. Show them how they should be in a supermarket. Give them clear rules before they go anywhere. “Remember, when we get to Fosters we are only buying food and you have to hold onto the shopping cart and stay with mummy.” They are like pets, they need training! Tell them what will happen if they don’t follow the supermarket rules. ” Remember, if you run off in Fosters when we get back home you will have to go straight to room and not watch any TV tonight. And MEAN IT! Seriously, if parents set boudries from the child being a baby then they would need to hit because the child would have LEARNT.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds like you are fresh out of some type of class and do not have any children of your own.
        The abuse went a bit beyond. That has been established.
        And to compare children to pets?, the judge needs to be talking to you next. Train you like a pet.

        We do not know what caused this. What if this child at 14 was warned to stop bringing stolen goods to the house over and over? ? ?

        It’s easy to look at a mother or sometimes a father with a child and there is always that comment “if that was my child I would do” so and so.

        Until you are in that situation.

        • Anonymous says:

          “A bit beyond”?

          If an adult woman was beaten like this by a man, that man would be sent to prison.

          If they both had kids together the court wouldn’t have been this lenient on him.

          Now you say she may have had a “good reason” for beating the child. Well, is there ever a good reason for beating your wife?

          Suppose she’s a slut, running man left and right? Suppose she was shooting up drugs in front of the kids? When is it ok to beat a woman and break her bones.

          What’s the difference between beating and breaking the bones of an adult and doing the same to a child? What makes one socially acceptable in Cayman and the other not?

          I’ll tell you what, prison time and laws. Can’t beat your wife but it’s open season on kids.

          Have lots of kids you can’t afford. Drag them up in abusive environments with no true example of love and patience. Continue to be easily embarrassed parents whose only tactic to “save face” is to show you exert full control over your child by beating the sh!t out of them at home and in public.

          Hell… not only do some of these parents attack their children like this, they themselves or family members also sexually violate these kids.

          So beat them. Break them. Rape them. Hate them. Reset every Sunday after church.
          That’s motto of a certain mindset of Caymanian parent. Children are livestock and have no value until they can get a job and pay their parents CUC bill.

          The sense of pride they display when they say “Well I beat mine!” is stomach churning.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ya teaching violence. And people wonder why kids are stabbing each other at burger king. There’s plenty of ways to discipline a child with out physical abuse. Beating a kid is lazy and doing nothing but teaching them that it’s ok to use physical force on someone who doesn’t follow their rules so to speak. You folks are ridiculous to think it’s fair that she was “teaching” him a lesson. “Hide yo kids hide yo wife” cause the beaten children of cayman are going to grow up to be “beaters” themselves. Idiots.

  12. Anonymous says:

    There are a lot of parents who take out their anger/frustrations on their kids. Many adults want the kids to think/understand like grown ups but remain in a child’s place at the same time. You can’t have it both ways. I personally am a believer in spanking, but not to the extent where you bruise or shed blood and certainly not for menial reasons. This act of brutality by the mother deserves a jail sentence. Let this be a warning to all you moms/dads out there that love drawing for the belt and any other object to punish your kids. Control yourselves as it can go way too far as in this case.

    • Sharkey says:

      I really thinks that we all could learn a lot from this mother son issue . Here we have a disobedient kid a violent mother that have went about teaching her son the wrong way.
      Then how can a violent teacher teach obedience ? There’s not much difference between those two behaviours.

      But I would hope that the kid has learned that he should change his behaviour, because if he don’t he would be taking it to the streets, then he would have to deal with the Police and they don’t carry broomstick.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cant hear you going feel!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you the type of parent to abuse a child if you’re using that phrase. No child should be beaten like that from his or her parents. I use to be abused as a child and I know that little boy must be terrified of his own mother. I know I was and still am terrified of my own mother and I’m an adult. I never got beaten to the point where a bone was broken but I received multiple bruises and cuts from CPVC pipes, belts, ply wood. You clearly aren’t any better than that little boys mother.

  14. Reader says:

    She should be in jail. The emotional damage she has done to her son, and most likely her other children, is despicable. A suspended sentence based on her good character and because she’s a widow – she clearly does not have a good character and as the only surviving parent, she should be ashamed of herself!

  15. Anonymous says:

    She could get a job in North Korea.

  16. Anonymous says:

    She deserved to go to prison AND lose custody of not only this child but the other two as well.

    Had I done to her what she did to her own child I would be sitting in Northward right now. Why the double standard? And does she not have a greater duty of care to her child than I to her?

    Gender privilege perhaps?

    Anyway, the stats regarding domestic and child abuse initiated and prolonged by women / wives / mothers are quite staggering – ESPECIALLY in single-parent households. (I understand the husband in this case is deceased.)
    Yet, the standard starting point when it comes to custody hearing is “the mother is the assumed best option for the child”.

    Ridiculous decision.

    • Mar says:

      What needs to happen is that there needs to be more support programmes for Single Parents. She should also have a psychological test because she could be suffering depression after the lost of her husband. This makes mothers respond in ways they would not normally do. There is a lot of pressure being a single parent and it doesn’t always mean a mom ends up in that situation by choice. She needs help and obviously this is a bad situation for her and the children. DCFS is the right agency to deal with this but Govt needs to look into our social structure.

      • Anonymous says:

        And what about her children? I guess they aren’t suffering emotionally from the loss of their father.

        No all this disgusting woman has done is given her son full control over her now. Because if he decides to act up on her, what is she going to do? Beat him? No, he can get her sent to jail. The tables have now turned. And in this case, all I can say is “good”. She deserves the road of helplessness she is bout to embark on with this boy.

        This woman is a prime example of why so many kids are out on the streets with gangs rather than at home.

        This disgusting, backward mentality of beating children (especially boys) is why we have a prison full of men who are emotionally and morally bankrupt. They solve their issue with violence. They’ve been beaten all their lives as children.

        Violent parents who are incapable of rational thought beat them. They go to school and and get in fights with violent kids there who are incapable of rational thought because they were abuse by stupid parents.

        They look for some type of way to have control or the upper hand on anyone who try’s to embarrass or disrespect them. And you know what the new tool is that helps them have respect? Guns. Because the only thing this island seems to respect is a “badman”. No one messes with them.

        Your beatings and you bible have failed our society Cayman. Every parent that doesn’t spend nurturing quality time with their kids; Every parent that starts a new family with multiple men and women all over the place to the point where they have more kids and baby daddy’s or mamas than they can afford; every parent who thinks beating the shit out of you child is teaching them a lesson… everything wrong with this island is your fault.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are a lot of power point presentations in Cayman on the subject.

      • frangipani says:

        what needs to happen is “there needs to be less single parents” . families need two parents and those two need to be trained on how to rear children.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’d love to know what instruction he would not obey to deserve that.
    If anyone knows, do tell.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Omg!! Appalling behaviour! It would take a severe blow to break a 14 year old child’s arm. Just a suspended sentence??
    That poor child would have been removed from her care as well as the other children immediately if she was in the UK. This is where the Child Protection Team in Cayman fall down. They certainly need leadership. Does it take a death of a child for something to be done?

  19. Anon says:

    That’s GBH not ABH! I hope the child has been placed with a loving caring family and taken away from that disgusting monster.

  20. Anonymous says:

    WTF.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Immigration?

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