N Touch
Saturday 7 December 2019
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Children interviewed at St Mary’s home

The police Child Protection Unit is interviewing 19 children, aged four to 14, at St Mary’s Children’s Home in connection with sexual assaults that the children say were committed against them by other wards of the home.

Yesterday, ASP Beverly Paul-Rodriguez of the unit said the interviews started earlier this week and are being done by ASP Matthew Andrews, Insp Trevelle Petty, Sgt Marlon Bishop and Cpl Paynter. Paul-Rodriguez said the children are co-operating. Sources said the children who were assaulted are now under the direct care of social workers from the Children’s Authority.

Head of the Anglican Church in TT, Bishop Claude Berkley, said the Anglican Board has initiated its own investigation, and a lack of proper supervision was one of the problems identified. Berkley said he intends to pay an unannounced visit to the home to meet and speak with staff and the children. Sources said parents and guardians of some of the children are considering legal action against the home over the allegations.

Last week Friday the Children’s Authority ordered the 19 children to be taken to the Teaching Hospital in San Fernando to be examined. Medical reports have so far revealed that two girls and two boys had been sexually active.

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