Boy locked in kennel, relatives get bail
By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Saturday, July 28 2012
After spending a night in prison, three relatives who were charged in relation to locking a 12-year-old boy in a kennel with a dangerous animal were granted bail at $50,000 each.
Nigel Hargreaves, 40, Kendall Baptiste, 29, and Nasha Baboolal, 32, re-appeared yesterday before Magistrate Christine Charles in the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Fifth Court.
It is alleged that on July 18, at Upper Valley Road, Cascade, Hargreaves and Baptiste willfully ill-treated the 12-year-old boy in such a manner that it was likely to cause him unnecessary suffering, or injury to his health, contrary to Section 3(1) of the Children Act 46:01.
Baboolal was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm against the young boy.
At yesterday’s hearing, defence attorney Patrick Godson-Phillips reiterated to the court that the offences for which his clients were charged were bailable offences, and as such he was requesting that the court grant the accused persons bail in this matter. He said he also took umbrage to statements made by a police prosecutor which described two of his clients as a “menace to society” noting with particular mention to Hargreaves, that it was unreasonable, as this accused had no previous matters before the courts whatsoever.
Police Prosecutor Sgt Gonzales told the court that he had no objection to the trio getting bail, but that his main concern was for the welfare of the 12-year-old victim. After further submissions, Charles granted the three relatives bail at $50,000 each to be approved by a Clerk of the Peace II, under the condition that they all stay away from the victim.
The matter is expected to resume on August 23.
The investigation was led by ASP Ajith Persad of the Port-of-Spain CID and charges were laid by Cpl Kevin Ashing of the Belmont Police Station.
On July 19, the 12-year-old boy was found imprisoned in a kennel with a dangerous dog and was treated at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital for puncture wounds, as a result of dog bites. Doctors also found the boy had marks about his body which showed he was beaten with a blunt instrument.
Since then, the boy has been left in the care of a female relative who lives in El Socorro.
Newsday reported last week that, on the night of July 18, the boy was accused of misbehaving. As a result ,he was reportedly refused dinner, stripped naked and then placed in the kennel as punishment by two male relatives. Neighbours heard the boy crying and complaining of dog bites. The following morning, neighbours said they saw the boy naked inside the kennel.
The E999 Service was called and a party of officers, including WPC Beckles, PC Phillips, and PC McWilliams, went to the Cascade house and rescued the boy from the kennel. They then notified the Belmont police, and a second team of investigators, led by Sgt Khelewan Ramsook, Cpl Rajkumar, PC Ramdath, visited the house, and detained the boy’s father, stepmother and 53-year-old grandmother. His grandmother was subsequently released.
They are due back in court on August 23.