Aunt dodges conviction for beating 7-year-old

| 16/08/2017 | 52 Comments

(CNS): A George Town woman escaped a criminal record, Tuesday, after a magistrate agreed to a conditional discharge when the woman pleaded guilty to assault. The crown said she had beaten her seven-year-old nephew with a belt after he was sent home early from school for misbehaving. The court heard that the woman, who is a co-parent to her sister’s child, was attempting to discipline him because he was becoming exceptionally unruly at school and both women were concerned about him missing out on his education.

The woman claimed that when she ordered the boy to put out his hand, where she had planned to hit him with the belt, the child moved and instead she ended up striking him with the belt on his arm and back, causing bruises which were seen by teachers at school the next day. They then reported the injuries to the police.

Local defence attorney Denis Brady, who represented the woman, argued that she beat the child with good intentions and that it was “done with love as she did not want to see her nephew travelling down the path of delinquency with no checks on his behaviour”. However, she was remorseful and recognised that the use of a belt was wrong.

Since the incident, both she and the boy’s mother have taken parenting classes and reached out to the authorities for help with the child.  It has finally been recognised that he has special needs and the sisters need help dealing with some of his problems. Brady explained that the boy’s father is not in his life but he sees him from time to time, bringing another child to the same school he attends which triggers his bad behaviour. Following the aunt’s arrest when he was removed from the home for the night, the child was also very distressed as he is very close to his aunt and his mother.

Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez said she appreciated the woman’s remorse, her closeness to the child and role she plays in his life. But describing what happened as a most unfortunate situation, she added that “a belt should not be used on a 7-year-old at all”.

Considering all of the circumstances, however, she accepted the recommendations made by the probation service. She discharged the woman without a conviction conditional on her attending counselling and other interventions as directed by probation, and to refrain from any further violence against the child over the next year. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (52)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    How do kids join a gang in Cayman?
    They get “beaten in”.
    I know it’s wrong, but there is something about a good woopin that sets you in a definite direction – good or bad.
    That said, LOVE LOVE is the answer in discipline – not just raw ignorant abuse.

  2. jay says:

    so should my mom have life in prison by now? i’m an outstanding citizen today the beatings help with your upbringings in life. today generation no hope without the proper discipline

  3. Anonymous says:

    Old fashioned christian parenting. Just beat the shit out of them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    People are synonymously using “beating” to mean discipline.
    You don’t have to beat your child to discipline them. If they have enough respect for you and if you let them know why doing certain things are wrong, you do get results. Of course, this occurs at a very young age before they even attend school.
    Beating is a faster way of getting results because the child will associate pain/fear with the bad action(s).
    Again, this is another thing ingrained into our culture but the lines often get blurry between abuse, beating, and “discipline”.
    Child abuse is very serious, especially on these islands, and I think it’s time to come to an agreement that if the “discipline” causes bruising, bleeding, broken bones, etc, it’s child abuse, should be reported, and the perpertrator(s) should be sentenced.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ok my fellow Christians here’s my favorite teaching from our Lord and Saviour….”Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

  6. A says:

    So similar to a certain type of people beating the sh*t out of their children in the grocery store. Not acceptable. Some would say that it is their culture. Just because it is your culture does not make it right.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true.

      I will add, some people just want someone to sh*t on in life and take out their rage. Sadly in our society, this turns out a lot of the time to be innocent children.

      We have many here who have mental illness and shouldn’t be around children much less having them and “raising” them. Them old people called that “being dragged up”. But, who can regulate such a thing? Who decides who is fit and proper to be a parent? Such a sad state of affairs really.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What would have been appropriate during this trial to also find out what the father’s role is in the upbringing of the child. Has he abandoned the child, does he provide financial assistance? Too many times the “fathers” can just walk away without any consequences. It takes two to bring a child into the world!

  8. Anonymous says:

    DON’T blame teachers!! Learning and discipline starts from the cradle at home. If there is difficult children requiring “special needs” help should be provided by the Child Protection/Social Service team. Get the more experienced team leaders from the UK to direct these services in the correct procedures. C’mon C I Government provide the funding. These children are Caymans future.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not entirely – Teachers ARE a part of this equation.
      Kids spend 7 hours each weekday with teachers (about 5 awake hours with parents).
      Many Great Teachers have therefore saved many kids who needed help.
      but, Bad Teachers can turn good kids bad; and push bad kids to become even worse!
      Sad situation, and the kids are often left alone to figure it all out.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know the child and family involved but we need to be very careful with throwing around words such as “special needs”. Too often children are labeled very quickly to excuse or explain certain behavior. I understand that some kids legitimately have issues which are beyond the capabilities of a parent to deal wit on their own, but the amount of kids who are deemed to have learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, social behavioral issues etc is frightening and one got to wonder whether those labels are used to explain shortcoming of some parents who have never set a routine and structure in the home environment in the first instance. To me, it seems rather odd that 20 years ago one never heard the term special needs or attention deficit disorder in schools but they are rampant now. Looking back at my school days, we also had some kids who just weren’t academically inclined, but they still had discipline and knew their boundaries, so one got to wonder what has changed that so many kids are “special needs” these days……..perhaps the lack of parenting?

  10. Anonymous says:

    In my experience, too many parents/caregivers wait to begin discipline their kids until they start school – that’s way too late. You have to set boundaries and teach consequences to unacceptable behavior from day one, but a lot of people think it is “cute” when their Toddler back-chats or acts out and think the problem will correct itself later on as they get older. Also, it is the parent who should realize whether a kid has behavioral issues. You shouldn’t be waiting for a school to be telling you this and expect a school to magically fix it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone stopped to consider the mental status of the aunt? What was here childhood like and how she was treated as a child. Maybe she needs educating!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Beatings = low IQ??!! BS!! I had my share of belt strappings at schooI and at home in my day and my IQ is 114

    • Anonymous says:

      Well done Auntie, lack of discipline has become a disease that infects all aspects of life.

    • Slacker says:

      Hate to tell you, but that is “Average”. Wonder what it might have been without the strapping.

    • Mr Anonymous says:

      You do know that’s barely above average right? I haven’t seen any studies which related to corporal punishment and how it corresponds to intelligence but it could be possibly hypothesize that the experience of being beaten can lead to emotional dependency, lack of decision-making skills, etc. which is related to a low IQ.

      Also if you want to brag about your intelligence please don’t throw an arbitrary number of what your IQ is. The measurements used in standardized IQ test has been shown not to examine all aspects of intelligence and can incorrectly attribute high or low scores.

  13. SEN Professional says:

    I find it so interesting that all the comments on here so far have only mentioned or focus on the use of discipline while over looking the most important detail in this report. The child in question us SPECIAL NEEDS. Now, while I do not condone the actions of his primary carers, I have to say my initial frustration is with the school system. Had they recognised his needs, been working with the child and his family in the appropriate way and used the resources, knowledge and additional support systems they should have as educators and that should be made available to all schools on island, this may not have occurred in the first place.

    Our culture has a long history of aversion to everything that is different, or that we do not initially understand, including those who have additional needs and/or mental health needs and this has got to stop. It is 2017. Why does this world still feel like back in the 50s and 60s!!! We’ve made too many steps forward for ignorance and neglect to be hindering the growth and development of our future.

    • Marcia says:

      Oh what a tangled web we weave when the belt was labeled a crime against children. Our children are being deceived to think they can do as they please and there is no form of punishment. Yes, call 911, parents go to court, parents receive the punishment instead. Child becomes an adult, does something wrong only this time it’s labeled as a crime, 911 is again called, adult goes to court, judge hands down a jail sentence. Oh if only that convicted adult’s parent(s) had put the belt on their ass and taught them that there is punishment for doing wrong.

      • Chelsea says:

        When are the liberals going to understand, time out does not work. Time out creates terriosts and serial killers. Take a good look at what is happening now with the animals. Horses being molested, dogs being burnt and women being bitten on their private. This is just the start of time out behaviors. Remember spare the rod and spoil the child saying, we are now going to arrest parents for reprimanding them with a belt…..gosh!

      • Anonymous says:

        Why don’t you take a trip to Northward and see how many inmates were NOT beaten as a child?

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t confuse a disabled child with specific special needs (e.g. Downs Syndrome) with a child who is acting out due to familial, societal or environmental issues. A child who is unattentive, slow to learn, aggressive, violent or withdrawn certainly have special needs, but they are not disabled. They need specific educational care or therapies to correct their behavioural patterns.
      This child was obviously not special needs in the disabled sense, but clearly has serious behavioural issues that need addressing. It may be that the strap was administered too late to have any deterrent effect, or it maybe the kid is just out of control and no amount of beating or therapy will help.
      We’ll leave that one to the shrinks.

      One things for sure, all the psycho babble we’ve heard from the liberal know-alls hasn’t made a jot of difference to the declining behaviour of our children, youth and young adults. We’ve been told to ingulge our kids far too much, make them our friends, bribe them with tech, try to understand their point of view, but what has that actually achieved?
      Many parents are kids themselves, with no life experience, no aspirations, motivation or education. Get to the root cause and stop trying to fix it once it’s beyond repair.

      There is a legitimate case for controlled corporal punishment, there is no case for a beating or blatant child abuse and brutality.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The only problem I have with this is the bruises. That’s too hard. Controlling yourself is important.

  15. Slacker says:

    All of you advocating physical punishment, it may not be your fault for that opinion, but just a result of not being very smart. Go to Google Scholar and look at all the research between beatings and lower IQ’s.

    • Anonymous says:

      yeah, smart kids figure out PDQ how not to get beat. – Next meaningless correlation.

      • Slacker says:

        Can’t agree with you more that correlation is not causation. But, if you actually read the research (yes, boring, tedious, stats…) you will see that they took into account many other factors, to rule out that oversimplification.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Nearly all, maybe all, our criminals in Northward such as the Mandersons, Connor boys, Sheldon Brown, Julio Newball had the crap beaten out of them by one or both parents, step parent, etc. Did no use, in fact probably made it worse.

  17. Run away says:

    Somebody has to do the beating. If you do not beat your child when he is young so that he knows right from wrong; then he will beat you when he is older. one of you have to do the beating. Nothing is wrong with me. The first time I smoked ganja my granny beat me. I never smoked it again or hung out with those friends. Today, I am a decent citizen with a decent job and my friends (most of them), are in jail for stealing and selling drugs. Do the maths

    • Anonymous says:

      I was never once so much as spanked but was still scared to death of my parents. Still am at the age of 39. Never want to disappoint them. So you are WAY off base by saying someone has to do the beating. It’s about teaching respect and not forcing respect. I feel sorry for any children you have raised if you honestly believe beating is necessary.

  18. New Caymanian says:

    Corporal punishment has always been a sensitive subject.
    To me there is a big thick line between discipline and abuse.

    When I was growing up, it was common for us to be strapped occasionally to keep us
    in line when we misbehaved by teachers and parents alike, but we never considered it as abuse.

    Nowadays I see children mouthing off their parents, daring them to beat them so they can call 911.Parents being arrested because they spanked their kids.

    Yet if the kids are left undisciplined when they become delinquents, the parents are the first to be attacked and criticized.

    So what is the solution? Time outs? Revocation of privileges? Talking? What does a parent do when these things do not work?

    Before anyone starts attacking me, I am just asking for solutions and recommendations. I am not saying this parent was right or wrong, I am just stating situations as I see them.

    • Mr Anonymous says:

      I think the first thing to do is to understand your child’s needs. No one suddenly acts unruly or misbehave without a real reason or cause behind it. Oftentimes I hear children who are personally frustrated at their own shortcomings in school such as not having good grades or lack of friends which they then carry over to the home because they do not feel underappreciated. It’s the parent’s responsibility not just to discipline the child but understand their thoughts, feelings and needs.

      Also when disciplining a child one needs to remember to be proportionate. You don’t instantly think of grabbing the belt if your child picks up something from the store when you told them not to. Different offences need different punishments/actions.

      Finally, just listen to your child. I understand that it’s quick to get angry and frustrated at bad behavior but not giving your child the time of day to explain their own actions or feelings, doesn’t reinforce why what they have done is out of order rather that because they’re a child, anything and everything they do or say can be in disrepute.

    • Anonymous says:

      New Caymanian – you have all rights to ask there questions. I would sure like to hear the solution. This is the problem with Cayman’s society. The system is designed to fail. All the problems with youth now and people can only blame the parents for not disciplining or showing their children a good up bringing. Does anyone one see this as a problem?

  19. Michael says:

    I used to get the belt from my father when it was a special need and I honestly do not believe it did me any harm. Since the authorities have taken over parenting responsibilities, these problems in the schools and homes have become out of control. Ask any older Caymanian if they learned good behaviour from their parents at the end of a strap and they will tell you a BIG YES! But alas, that is no more.

  20. Open Mind says:

    This is why you have kids riding dirt bikes in the street and becoming thugs.. with no fare of punishment from a young age why would you think they would listen as young adults or even as grown adults later in life.. this is a joke that an aunt or mother cannot beat there child there is a limit but this was explained that he moved. I can tell you many time I went to move and got the belt on my leg or arm. and it made me learn none the less, I never made the same error twice.. giving kids the idea that they can go to police for simple beating or teacher to report and officer to not think it was just punishment gone wrong.. there is a line but to carry aunt or mother to court for disciplining her child. Wake up Cayman.. there a reason that kids who grew up in the 80s or early 90s are not like kids now.. they lack discipline and parents are finding them self on edge if they can even disciplining them.. I have 5 and I will disciplining and even beat if it gets too far and if the day come I go to court for it I will stand firm my parents and extended family pushing me to do the right thing is why I am the person and respect others today.. I can’t stress there is a line to beating a child and abusing a child but come on Cayman take your head out the sand and if you keep following so many of the rules or ideas of other country then learn to live with the same issues and problems they have…

  21. Anonymous says:

    A very well thought out remedy. Sometimes It takes a village to raise a child. A lot of parents/ persons raising children world wide has no idea how to decipline an unruly child. It is not their faults-.they just don’t know. I trust that the social worker can really make an impact on this family.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I remember my aunt dealing with social work and well the story goes i saw a lady once make her kid kneel down in the front yard butt naked in Caymans 100 degree sunlight.. oh for a few hours. And they wonder why these kids are so pissed off these days none of you adults try to make it better you just hide behind Lies.

  23. Anonymous says:

    A judgement that appears reasonable (in a very difficult situation) until the last line “refrain from any further violence against the child over the next year”. Really Ms Hernandez? Is that really what you said. Stop for a year?????

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s the probation wording. You’re not on probation for life. Agree/disagree with that as you like but don’t blame the individual judge.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Proverbs 13:24
    He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

    Proverbs 22:15
    Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

  25. Anonymous says:

    He’s 7 years old; unnecessary.

    She should try talking to him and explaining her concerns and set an example.

    Typical ignorance; he probably has learning disabilities and as such is being treated as a “problem child” at school. Parents and family members need to educate themselves on learning disabilities and disorders to be able to 1) identify if their child has one and 2) be able to deal with the issues which surround these types of learning disabilities. When you understand the challenges your child/nephew/niece etc. has then you are able to assist them in developing into a fully functional, independent and successful adult.

    Beating a 7 year old is unnecessary. More love, less hate!


  26. Concerned citizen says:

    hmmmm then we complain when these kids grow up to be thieves and robbers due to lack of discipline. I see say flog him if he needs it!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.