Abused 10-yr-old girl to testify against mom
By AZARD ALI Tuesday, October 30 2012
A-TEN-YEAR-OLD child will be escorted to the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court today to begin testifying against her mother, who is alleged to have beaten her until her neck, face and arm became bruised.
Magistrate Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds yesterday insisted that the case start at 1 pm, and again refused to grant bail to Gabrielle Emtage, 26.
As a result, the mother of two was again remanded into custody. She is charged under the Children’s Act, with beating her child on October 12 last, at their home in Jerington Avenue, Coconut Drive, San Fernando. Emtage has pleaded not guilty.
Emtage has been in custody since, having been denied bail on three subsequent appearances in court, the last being yesterday.
The magistrate told Emtage’s attorney, Shawn Tickasingh, yesterday, that of concern to the court was whether there was the likelihood of alleged interference with the child if the accused mother was to be set free on bail.
But Tickasingh pressed further that Emtage was gainfully employed, and had given an undertaking that she would stay at her sister’s home.
Ramsumair-Hinds said: “Of concern to the court is the fact that the child is a minor. The possibility of interference, under the Bail Act, is what I’m entitled to look at, and decide if to refuse bail.”
The charge was laid by WPC Praveen Rajkumar of the San Fernando CID, which stemmed from an investigation into a report made by a staff member at the child’s school where she is a Standard Two pupil.
Bruised marks were noticed on the neck, face and arm.
Yesterday, when Emtage re-appeared, Ramsumair-Hinds told the attorney when the case starts and the evidence unfolds, she would re-visit her ruling on the bail issue.
The magistrate then insisted that the matter start as soon as the police is able to produce the virtual complainant - the child, to testify.
The court police prosecutor Sgt Gordon Maharaj, said Rajkumar had informed him that a cautionary statement had been given by the accused, when she was arrested. Ramsumair-Hinds ordered that it be disclosed to the defence. She then said that she would fix the case for today, to begin the trial, and remanded Emtage into custody.
The prosecutor assured the magistrate that Emtage would be taken by police officers to an available witness room in the adjacent High Court building, where Tickasingh would be able to interview her. The magistrate fixed the case to begin at 1 pm.