Nineteen-year-old Navindra Lall appeared before Magistrate Alisha George at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday to answer to an assault charge.
The defendant, of Agriculture Road, Triumph, East Coast Demerara (ECD), is said to have abused his stepson while he was under the influence of alcohol.
At the first court appearance, Lall pleaded not guilty to the charge which read that on October 29, 2019, he assaulted the lad so as to cause him actual bodily harm.
Lall was placed on bail by the Magistrate but he could not have afforded to post same and as such, he remained on remand until the hearing and determination of his trial.
The State Prosecutor called five witnesses to testify in the matter. They included the victim’s mother, two neighbours, a probation officer, and a Police Officer.
According to the mother of the three-year-old victim, she has two sons, one of whom Lall fathers.
The woman told the court that throughout her relationship with Lall, he always had an issue with the 3-year-old child making noise.
The woman added that on October 29, 2019, she left the two children in the care of Lall and went to work. However, she later received a telephone call that Lall had locked the children outside and that they were crying.
Upon reaching home, she indicated that her two sons were outside along with the Police and her neighbours. Lall later stated that he had fallen asleep in the veranda.
The mother of two told the court that her son’s eyes had bloodshot. Upon enquiring, she was told that Lall had beaten him. However, the accusation was denied by the defendant, the mother testified.
As such, the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) was contacted by neighbours who visited the home the following day.
Lall was subsequently charged for assaulting the child who was taken into custody of the CCPA.
Meanwhile, Lall told the court that he was imbibing with his landlord and another man on the day in question. He said that he later became intoxicated and fell asleep on the veranda, leaving the children unattended.
Lall was being cross-examined by the Prosecutor and told the court that he could not recall if he hit the child since he was drunk.
According to Magistrate George, there is sufficient evidence against the accused of the offence with which he was charged.
She pointed out that since he was left to care for the two children, the court would not be lenient with him.
In imposing the custodial sentence, the Magistrate took into consideration the prevalence of child abuse in society and the fact that Lall was under the influence of alcohol.