Jamaica Observer:- THE mother of the three-year-old boy, who last week sparked public outcry after he was seen in a widely circulated video smoking and drinking at the urging of adults, according to her attorney, is “very remorseful”.
Attorney Maisha Wilson Campbell yesterday argued successfully for her client’s release on bail before the St Catherine Parish Court.
The boy from the video and his siblings have been placed in the custody of his maternal grandmother by the courts.
“A di dawg birthday today enuh, man. Puff it out again ‘Minty’, tek two pull outta it again. How yuh mean, birthday boy!” a male was heard in the video encouraging the toddler, who, having taken a drag of the cigarette, coughed and was handed a bottle of what appeared to be an alcoholic beverage for him to take a swig.
With that coughing episode behind him, he was again encouraged, “Puff it out again, Minty, tek two pull out of it again.”
The toddler, clad only in underwear, wordlessly complied, clutching his tiny hands to his jaws and shaking his head from side to side as he smoked.
Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force last week launched a frantic search for the toddler, in collaboration with the Office of the Children’s Advocate and other State agencies, resulting in the child’s mother being taken into custody for questioning. Following a court appearance, the boy and his siblings were temporarily put at a place of safety.
Following two court dates this week, the Jamaica Observer learnt that the boy and his three siblings are no longer at the State facility.
“All four children have been taken out of State care and are with the grandmother. We are comfortable with the assessment that was done as to her ability to care for them, with the necessary support, which will be provided in keeping with the Supervision Order made by the court,” Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison told the Observer on Wednesday.
The boy’s mother, whose bail was yesterday secured in the sum of $150,000, was told by the judge that while she was allowed to make contact with the other three children, she would be restricted from interacting with the three-year-old. Her attorney said the order placing the children with their grandmother was a temporary one, and that it is hoped that the matter of their being returned to their mother’s care would be resolved by November 5 when she is expected to return to court.
According to Wilson Campbell, it is likely that the courts will return the children to their mother, who has been charged with child endangerment.
(Read more at:- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/smoking-boy-s-mom-very-remorseful-three-year-old-siblings-now-with-grandmother_204434?profile=1373)