By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Several public spirited citizens on Wednesday night (February 26) held a vigil outside the Guyana Human Rights Centre on Hadfield Street, Georgetown in compassion with the one – year – old baby who was abused a 19 – year – old babysitter, in whose care she was left.
Those protesting said they were in total disagreement with the stance taken by the Human Rights Association on the matter. The Association had protested what they say was a draconian and speedy sentencing of the teen.
Fatima Martin who was sentenced to five years imprisonment has since been granted $100,000 bail by the High Court.
What this group is saying however, is that the decision by the High Court to grant the woman bail has sent the wrong message to the wider Guyanese society and they are now calling on citizens to support the initial decision taken on the matter.
According to organizer of the vigil, Sara Balgobin what has been achieved so far is the supporting of an injustice done to a child.
“A whole lot of people are supporting this young woman who battered this child and for me I really can’t understand that, how can you support a woman who battered this child and did something so heinous?” she questioned.
It is her view that the real point has been missed, which is the abuse of the child and that persons are paying too much attention to the ethnicity of the babysitter and the parents of the child who are Attorneys-at-Law (one a serving Magistrate).
“I was to ask the question why not the maximum sentence to the woman who inflicted injuries consistent with strangulation?”
The 19 – year – old Martin was sentenced to five years in jail by Magistrate Sueanna Lovell for the offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Magistrate Lovell has since attracted criticisms for her sentence. However, she defended the decision. She told reporters on February 19, “I operated within the confines of the law.”
She told reporters that she could understand how the perception could be that favoritism was shown but assured that it was not the case.
Magistrate Lovell is being accused of being inhumane, unreasonable and unbalanced in her sentencing. Reports indicate that the child is still hospitalized, and medical reports indicate that she was strangled and had marks of violence about the body which could have been caused from blunt trauma. The child also has a ‘bloodshot’ eye.