Father faces charges for assaulting daughters
November 5, 2010
Albert Higgins of Tuschen, West Coast Demerara, appeared before Magistrate Nyasha Hatmin yesterday at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrate’s Court to answer to charges of unlawfully assaulting and causing actual bodily harm to his two daughters, both of whom are minors.
It is alleged that on October 31, last, at around 11:15 hours, the defendant asked his two daughters what they were looking at on the television at a friend’s home and the children responded by saying they were looking at “blues” (pornographic movies).
According to Prosecutor Inspector Krishnadat Ramana, after Higgins received the response from his daughters, he picked up a belt and dealt the girls several lashes. The matter was reported to the Leonora Police Station by the man’s two daughters, in the presence of their mother.
When Magistrate Hatmin asked the mother if she took the children to make the report, her answer was affirmative, but she also stated that she was “forced to go make the report”. She told the Magistrate that a welfare officer took her children to the police station and telephoned her saying that she should go to the station.
Higgins pleaded guilty to the charges, but with an explanation. He said that his wife had been called into the children’s school two consecutive times for their unacceptable behaviour and when this incident occurred, it was the school who called in the Welfare Department.
The defendant stated that he did indeed give his children a few lashes, however, when a teacher observed red marks on their skin and legs, the welfare officer was called into the school and took his children to the Leonora Station, where the mother was told to go. He explained that the mother was held in custody until he arrived at the station, but he was given no chance by the welfare officer to learn of the matter or know what the cause was for him having to be at the station.
Higgins further claimed that he believed he was disciplining his children by giving them a few lashes but he now realized it was wrong of him to do so.
Prosecutor Inspector Ramana did not object to bail.
Magistrate Hatmin then stated that she would need a probation report. Higgins was placed on $10,000 bail.
The defendant is to make his next court appearance on November 26